Interpretive Summary: Undergraduate student attitudes to current poultry industry issues over four semesters: surveying an introductory poultry science course
By: Meaghan M Meyer, Elizabeth A Bobeck
Individual experience and demographics affect perceptions of animal production. Understanding how science-based education alters these opinions is a critical aspect of improving instruction and increasing consumer engagement in the poultry industry. Undergraduate students enrolled in a poultry science course at Iowa State University between 2018 and 2021 were surveyed at the start and end of the semester as part of a 4-yr study. Students answered three demographic questions and indicated their agreeability with 16 “poultry issue statements.” Responses to various issue statements were affected by students’ livestock experience (6 out of 16 statements), sex (5 out of 16 statements), and ultimate career goals (4 out of 16 statements). Pre- vs. post-education responses changed in 6 out of 16 statements, and in 2 out of 16 poultry issue statements, the year of instruction affected student response. Individual student background, sex, and career interests impacted opinions on current topics in the broiler and layer industries, including laying hen housing systems, selective poultry breeding, environmental enrichment availability, culling practices, commercial stocking density, purchasing decisions, and more. Science-based instruction with hands-on farm experience as well as the year the course was taken over consecutive semesters significantly altered student opinions.
Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.