Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture

IMG 5585webThis summer, agribusiness senior Ian Brock completed an internship at the Broiler Research Center located at the Walter C. Todd Agricultural Research Center. During Brock’s time there, he contributed to the valuable ongoing research that occurs through the SFA Department of Agriculture. We reached out to him to learn more about his work:

Tell us about the research you completed during this internship:
I have been working at the farm since my second semester of freshmen year, but the research trial I conducted began in May of this year.

My duties during my internship were to tend to the birds daily. The main focus of my internship was to test a litter system called the deep litter system to see how it compares to the conventional litter system seen in a normal broiler house. We tested for the betterment of bird health, as well as economic feasibility.             

This was very eye opening for me to be a part of. I was able to apply almost all of the skills and knowledge I have learned while at SFA and put it in a real-world perspective.

What was your favorite aspect of this internship?
My favorite part of the internship was being able to be a part of the research process and coming up with results when we analyzed the numbers. I liked being able to have real data to compare and contrast the differences in the two litter systems.

I learned to work a research protocol and use a spreadsheet in excel with real numbers that we collected. It was very interesting and exciting for me to experience, and I was able to use what I have learned through my agribusiness studies in an actual real-world scenario.

Do you have any additional comments?
I would tell someone who is coming into the Department of Agriculture who might not have an extensive background in agriculture to not be discouraged. There is so much to learn and a lot of exciting things to fall in love with in the agriculture field. A lack of experience shouldn’t keep you away from the field if you have any interest in it.

17554483 674832366045538 8504673469243992345 nAnimal Science senior Kelsey Chatigny completed a four-month internship as a foaling and breeding attendant with McQuay Stables, a state-of-the-art Reining and Hunter & Jumper training, sales and breeding facility, located in Tioga, TX. Before she returns to SFA for the fall semester, we caught up with her to learn more about her time at McQuay Stables, as well as her future plans in the equine industry.

What where your duties as an intern?
As an intern I handled basic feeding in grooming for the 100 head of mares that were bred last year. Many were recipient mares and others were owned by the McQuays. Day in and day out I would feed, do turnouts and then give medications to mares. Every other day was labeled as a collection day, and the remaining days the reproduction veterinarian came out to check the mares. I began on midnight shifts after a couple of days and helped foal out 34 mares over the course of the internship. I was lucky and had an amazing boss who allowed me to shadow a bladder surgery, as well as give Amikacin infusions on mares we just bred. I collected almost all of the studs on property, assisted the farrier and taught a 2-year-old stud colt how to mount a dummy. I even collected a stallion and successfully bred it to a mare hours later. Once foals were born I got them started off right with imprinting and halter breaking. It is definitely a wonderful and engaging learning experience.                                                                                      

How has this experience benefitted your undergraduate career?
It gave me a hands-on view of how the equine industry works, allowing me to apply the knowledge I obtained taking equine reproduction classes at SFA. It also opened my eyes to the management of a breeding farm and helped me see that there are plenty of routes to go about getting into this line of business. Getting the hands-on experiences that internships provide really puts you ahead of the game and gives you a foothold into the industry you want to work in after college.

What was your favorite part about the internship?
I would have to say that my favorite part of the internship was all of the different experiences. It was all extremely valuable knowledge that I had learned about in the classroom, but the skills were solidified when I got to do it all myself. I also became aware of how every single animal I handled behaved differently and how their individual experiences shaped their personalities.

EmilyHopsonPoultry science major Emily Hopson’s three-month internship with Sanderson Farms, the third largest poultry company in the nation, ends August 11. Before she returns to SFA for the fall semester, we caught up with her to learn more about her time at the company’s Waco division, as well as her future plans in the poultry industry.

What where your duties as an intern?
As a production intern I spent two weeks in each production department, which includes the hatchery, feed mill, broilers, breeders and live haul. This meant working at Sanderson Farms facilities - the hatchery and feed mill - as well as being out in the field on location - broilers, breeders and live haul. My duties were department specific. For example, at the hatchery I primarily dealt with eggs and chicks, but didn’t interact with the chicks pass the hatching stage. While out in the field, I spent time at the farms where the chickens are actually developing.                                                                                      

How will this experience benefit your undergraduate career?
As a poultry science major, this experience has really advanced my undergraduate career in a positive way. I was able to see hands-on how the production side of the poultry industry operates. This allowed me to learn so many new things about the industry from the perspective of a student and an employee. I knew I wanted my undergraduate degree to be in poultry science for a long time, but I never knew what kind of career I could pursue after graduation. Now I have learned of the many potential career opportunities a poultry science major has in the poultry industry, especially with Sanderson Farms. With that knowledge I am more excited and motivated than ever to continue pursuing my undergraduate degree so I can begin my career.

What was your favorite aspect of the internship?
This is pretty tough to answer as I have so many favorite memories of this internship. Since I have to pick though, my favorite part has to be working along side the Sanderson employees, as well as my fellow interns. This is such a welcoming company, and the other interns and I were really treated like family by all other employees. Also, speaking of the other interns, it was really nice to be able to relate with each other. We are college students of all different ages, majors and universities; but, interning with Sanderson Farms allowed us to share a common connection.

How did you learn about the internship?
I first heard about this internship when Sanderson's corporate recruiter, Sandy Brownlee, spoke in my introductory poultry class last spring. From there she spoke about the Super Chicken Roadshow that Sanderson Farms holds once a year for universities. This is a two-day event focused on interviewing prospective summer interns and providing further information on the company. I knew that this was really something I should look into, so I signed up to attend with Dr. Bray. All I can say now is I couldn’t be more blessed with the outcome.



This summer, Breia Easley, a senior biology major with a pre-veterinary focus, spent two weeks traveling and working in and around the Cayo district of Belize with Paws Veterinary Clinic. Her experience, organized through the Center for Engaged Learning Abroad Program and SFA’s Office of International Programs, incorporated lecture and hands-on veterinary experience.

How did you learn about this opportunity?
I came across the opportunity while researching different study abroad programs online. I then followed up with Inez Maxit, study abroad coordinator at SFA, who helped secure my decision to venture to Belize by gathering feedback from other schools and counselors about their experience with the program.

What were your responsibilities through the program?
My duties as a student included attending lecture in the mornings and either working at Paw’s Veterinary Clinic or traveling around to local farms where we performed different types of injections or procedures. I and other students assisted with surgeries including spaying and neutering dogs, cats, horses and pigs, as well as suturing the epidermis, or external skin layer, when necessary. We also performed physical wellness exams on multiple species of animals including cattle, goat, sheep, pig, dogs, cats and horses and administered routine intramuscular and subcutaneous injections. One whole day of the trip was reserved for a free spay and neuter clinic held in San Antonio, Belize, where we managed a check in station, a station for physicals and routine injections, a surgery station and a recovery station. I was also given the opportunity to milk a herd of Holstein cattle and later palpate them to determine if they were open or bred.
How has this experience benefitted your undergraduate career?
During my trip to Belize with the Large Animal Veterinary Course, I was not only given multiple opportunities to learn and gain experience in animal health and wellness, I was also immersed in the incredibly diverse and unique culture of the country. The experience was personally beneficial as well as rewarding in the sense that we were able to also give back so much to the community while there. Being abroad was eye opening, encouraging and a total boost of confidence for me, not to mention I was able to meet some awesome people! This trip helped me to secure my decision of wanting to pursue a career in large animal medicine.
What was your favorite part of the program?
I would have to say that my favorite part of the entire experience definitely has to be the opportunity I was given to offer my services to the Cayo district to help improve the lives of people and animals through the practice of animal welfare. I was able to assist with multiple spay and neuters of local street and domestic dogs, which aids in the overall reduction in the number of strays on the streets. It also helps to prevent the spread of disease throughout the animal community, which can sometimes be transmitted to the human species. 

In addition to the lecture and hands-on veterinary experience, I was able to explore the country a little by visiting multiple waterfalls that were each breathtakingly beautiful, as well as the Mayan ruins Xunantunich and Cahal Pech. We also visited the Barton Creek Cave where we went canoeing through a cave containing ancient Mayan artifacts. After completing physical examinations and observing a dental examination on one of the horses at the Mountain Equestrian Trail we went horseback riding through the jungle. Though my personal favorite extracurricular was, hands down, the Green Iguana Conservation Project. At the Green Iguana Conservation Project we were able to learn about, observe, feed and play with the iguanas that were housed there.