JT Pope

JT Pope

It is an honor to be chosen as a recipient of the Targeting Excellence scholarship! My sincerest thanks are extended to the board and committee members, donors, and everyone else that makes this scholarship possible. It is reassuring to know that the industry supports the endeavors of students and I look forward to making my best contributions back to the industry.

Hometown: Mebane, NC

School: North Carolina State University

Major / Species: Nutrition/Animal and Poultry Science

Career Goals: My career goal is to use my training in nutrition and feed manufacturing to continuously improve efficiencies in broiler production. As a graduate research assistant at NC State, I have been granted the opportunity to work on several exciting projects. While my own research focuses on feed manufacturing as it affects broiler nutrition, I work in a lab devoted to pathogen control, meat quality, production management, and nutrition. This has been a wonderful opportunity that has taught me about several facets of poultry production, and points our research in a holistic direction so that it may be applied directly to commercial systems. While I did not grow up on a farm, the inspiration to work with poultry was instilled as an adolescent. I hatched my first batch of bobwhite quail at fourteen and realized that I wanted poultry to be central to my career. Upon graduation from high school, I attended NC Sate and studied poultry science. I worked as an undergraduate research assistant at the university feed mill, which became a passion as well. I was forwarded the opportunity to work with several graduate students as well as allied industry representatives and realized that there were many unanswered questions with respect to feed manufacturing as it impacts poultry nutrition. Ultimately, I decided to pursue a graduate degree because I was interested in this research topic and I knew the poultry industry would directly benefit from labs conducting this type of research. I believe my training in graduate school will be best utilized working as a commercial nutritionist or technical service representative with a feed additive firm. My goal in these jobs would be to provide sound technical advice in the realm of feed manufacturing with respect to its impact on nutrition. Every process of feed manufacturing can profoundly impact the efficiencies of our animals and I hope to use my knowledge to further elucidate the ways feed manufacturing decisions impact the efficiencies of production, and eventually the profitability of our industry. While this will take years of experience, I hope my interests will someday be of value to our industry so that we can continue providing an essential food product to a growing world.