LSU team earns awards at poultry competition

Johnny Morgan  |  4/12/2018 8:16:59 PM

(04/12/18) BATON ROUGE, La. — The LSU poultry judging team took a number of awards at this year’s U.S. Poultry Foundation Ted Cameron National Poultry Judging Contest held April 4-6.

For 71 years, LSU has hosted the event, and this year’s team competed against 11 other schools from as far away as Iowa State University and Penn State.

The LSU team placed first overall in the Team Production Finals. They won first place in Team Breed Selection, second place in the Team Market Products Finals, and first place as the High Team Overall.

Individual winners from LSU were Steven Shumaker, who placed third in Individual Production and Matt Seguin placed first and Braxton Hartshorn placed fifth in Individual Breed Selection. Matt Seguin placed fourth in Individual Market Products. Matt Seguin and Braxton Hartshorn placed first and second, respectively as Individual Overall Finalists.

This year’s team was coached by retired poultry science professor Dennis Ingram.

LSU AgCenter 4-H instructor David Boldt, who coordinates the event, said the annual competition gives these students an opportunity to develop experience in evaluating birds for egg production and for breeding.

The students compete in production judging, breed selection judging and market products grading using U.S. Department of Agriculture rules and regulations.

“The concepts learned are important for students to succeed in the contest and are very beneficial to them as they enter the industry,” Boldt said. “The contest teaches them how to make decisions and communicate their reasoning as well as to identify products that consumers want to see on the store shelves.”

Barbara Jenkins, vice president of education and student programs and executive director of the U.S. Poultry Foundation, said the foundation prides itself on being able to recruit students into the poultry and egg industry.

“We fund programs to assist in doing that with colleges and universities around the nation,” she said. “We want students to know that even though the industry may not sound glamorous, there is a job for them in this industry almost guaranteed.”

The students learn U.S. Department of Agriculture standards for grading eggs and ready-to-cook fryers, which are import skills because they are used in commercial poultry production.

The competition allows students to learn to evaluate birds for past and future egg production and for breeding purposes.

The awards banquet was held on April 6 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Baton Rouge.

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Members of the 2018 LSU Poultry Judging Team from left: Steven Shumaker, David Smith, Trent Dugas, team coach Dennis Ingram, Karen Robbins, Braxton Hartshorn, Nathan Gaudet, Chadsity Cobbins, Gerry Romero and Matthew Seguin. Photo by Johnny Morgan/LSU AgCenter

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