An Assessment of Undergraduate Student Interest in Poultry Science


  • Trent Wells Southern Arkansas University
  • Oscar Tejeda Southern Arkansas University
  • Mark Hainline Sam Houston State University



poultry, student interest, undergraduate


Poultry production is an important and vital animal agriculture enterprise. The significant economic footprint of the poultry industry coupled with ever-increasing technological and production volume requirements predicates the need for well-qualified, trained employees to help carry the American poultry industry forward. Through the preparation of university-level agricultural degree program graduates lies an opportunity to help address this need. Undergirded by human capital theory (HCT), the purpose of our study was to assess undergraduate agricultural students’ poultry science interest at a non-land-grant college of agriculture (NLGCA). We used a valid and reliable, paper-based survey instrument to collect data from 137 undergraduate agricultural students at [UNIVERSITY]. We found that the majority of respondents were not interested in either poultry science academic programming or a career in the poultry industry. However, we did find that the majority of respondents were interested in completing summer semester internships in the poultry industry and that prior experience working in the poultry industry was a statistically significant predictor of students’ interest in careers in the poultry industry. Based on our findings, we recommend that poultry industry stakeholders (e.g., university faculty, industry representatives) strategically engage undergraduate students to recruit them into the poultry science pipeline.


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How to Cite

Wells, T., Tejeda, O., & Hainline, M. (2023). An Assessment of Undergraduate Student Interest in Poultry Science. NACTA Journal, 67(1).