Dr. Jeff Cox, WCC President; Matthew Greene, WCC Animal Science lead instructor; Frank Blevins, WCC Animal Science/Horticulture instructor; Ronald Dollyhite, WCC Dean of Applied Career Technologies; and Dr. Leslie Sparks with the WCC Animal Science program students.

Wilkes Community College’s Applied Animal Science Technology program was awarded a $7,000 grant from the U.S. Poultry and Egg Harold E. Ford Foundation (USPOULTRY). Grant monies are to help recruit students to the program to train for employment in the poultry industry. The foundation provides annual recruiting and retention funds to colleges and universities to attract students to their poultry programs.

Matthew Greene, lead instructor for the Animal Science Program, played a key role in getting this grant. “Wilkes County is fortunate to have a thriving Animal Science Industry. Wilkes Community College is proud to have quality partners like the US Poultry & Egg Association” said Greene. “Northwestern North Carolina needs graduates in the Animal Science field. With the average age of a farmer nearing 60, we need young, trained hands entering the field. Our graduates are highly sought after and have a career that fits their passion.”

The college’s Applied Animal Science Technology program prepares students for careers in the production of livestock such as beef cattle, dairy cattle, horses, poultry, sheep, goats, and swine as well as other careers related to the animal science industry.

The poultry industry adds millions annually to local, regional, and state economies. Wilkes County ranks third in the state in broiler (poultry) production, third in the state in all forms of cattle production, eighth for egg production, and third in the state in beef cattle production. Alleghany and Ashe counties rank sixth and thirteenth, respectively, in the state in all forms of cattle production. For more information about the Animal Science program at Wilkes Community College, contact Matthew Greene at 336-838-6226 or mpgreene628@wilkescc.edu.

U.S. Poultry & Egg Association established the USPOULTRY Foundation in 1994 to provide student recruiting funds to universities with poultry science departments. In 2004, the Poultry Science Education Funding Program, now named the Industry Education Recruitment Funding Program, was added to the Foundation’s umbrella so other colleges and universities that offer industry-related studies are eligible to apply for recruiting grants.