Students in Poultry Management get the opportunity to learn at the Cal Poly Poultry Center, a facility considered one of the best in the United States. The center has the capacity to accommodate 12,000 egg producing chickens, 5,000 replacement pullets, 7,000 broilers, 800 quail and 2,500 chickens for applied research purposes.
Additionally, Cal Poly has a production contract with Foster Farms to produce natural broilers, which provides students with real-world experience in the poultry industry and creates opportunities for students to make valuable industry contacts. While working with Foster Farms, Cal Poly has won a number of awards for being their top contract producer.
Besides broiler production, the poultry center also produces, processes and distributes Cal Poly eggs throughout San Luis Obispo County— all completely student-run activities. The poultry classes fill quickly because students are able to gain a tremendous amount of hands-on experience fairly soon in the courses. Students gain experience in production, management, sales and distribution, in addition to learning to manage people and develop leadership for the Cal Poly poultry business.
More importantly, there are numerous excellent positions available for students who have taken the poultry classes and gained hands-on experience with the birds. Poultry management positions in the production industry or in the pharmaceutical area typically pay very well.
Working at the Poultry Center has provided me with the important hands-on experience needed to be competitive in the workforce. I feel that Cal Poly's Learn By Doing philosophy has given me the opportunity to gain an extensive education that cannot be taught in the classroom.
Caitie Evans, senior Animal Science student