Student Internships Summer 2018

Simmons Foods is a poultry company located in northwest Arkansas. Their home office is located in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. The facility I worked in was a processing plant located at Decatur, Arkansas, specifically focused on first processing. My greatest takeaway from my internship experience with Simmons Foods, was how I was treated, as a valued worker, and entrusted with a vast amount of responsibility. My internship allowed me to be a part of the maintenance department, specifically with the two maintenance planners, maintenance reliability manager, and maintenance manager. 

Lunsford Veterinary Care Center is a mixed animal veterinary clinic. One of my greatest take aways from this internship was the animal human body that people share with their pets. Also, being able to take in as much knowledge from many years of experience from the veterinarians and assistants. This internship has assisted me in many ways. Since my goal job is to be a Veterinary Sales Representative, this internship has exposed me to many different medications that I will be selling to veterinarians. It has also exposed me to the diverse medical equipment that is used in veterinary medicine.


I worked for Simmons Foods, a family-owned poultry and pet food company founded in 1949. This was a very helpful internship because it helped me better understand how a processing plant works. I worked on a training program for the plant. Throughout this internship I learned a lot about teamwork. 


I am a transfer student to the University of Arkansas beginning in the fall of 2018. I recently graduated from Crowder College in Neosho, Missouri with an Associate’s of Arts in Animal Science. I traveled to IPPE in January with Crowder and the University of Arkansas, and interviewed for a summer internship with Cobb. I was offered a position at Bear Hollow in Pineville, Missouri and have spent my summer learning the Pedigree side of poultry production from the various crews on the farm. Throughout this internship I have further developed my interest in poultry nutrition and genetics. 


I am a Junior Poultry Science major with a concentration in pre-veterinary studies at the University of Arkansas. I am currently interning at the University of Arkansas Central Laboratory Animal Facility (CLAF). The facility, overseen by the Department of Research Compliance, is responsible for the general care, husbandry, welfare, and oversight of all research animals at the University of Arkansas. This internship exposed me to important components of my career path.

Cal-Maine is an egg farm on the outskirts of Green Forest, Arkansas. Overall, this summer has been one for the books. I did not realize how many little things went into making Cal-Maine run semi-smoothly. The most important thing  I learned over the summer were the qualities of a good manager/supervisor. 

Simmons is a poultry company located in Northwest Arkansas. Their home office is located in Siloam Springs. My internship has assisted me with thinking about my future career in the poultry industry after college. It has helped me get  to know what I like and what I don’t like in this part of the industry. Although it also assisted me to know if this company would be right for me after my college career. I can say after this internship, this company is very amazing and I could see myself being apart of this great team.

I interned with Cobb Vantress R&D product testing. My greatest takeaway from my internship was meting everyone in the company and learning how the company worked. This internship helped me in many ways. One way was learning how to push myself and be innovative, along with increasing my desire to become a geneticist in the future. It also helped me find a company that I look forward to hopefully work for in the future.

I accepted an internship with Pilgrim’s Pride, through JBS, at their poultry processing facility in Arcadia, Wisconsin.  The most impactful aspect of my internship with Pilgrim’s has been the people I have gotten to work alongside.  I am truly seeing that the poultry industry is a people business, as I’ve heard countless times. Accepting the internship with Pilgrim’s has opened my eyes to the possibilities within poultry processing.  There are so many different tasks and each holds significance to the quality of the final product. I have gained insight into the daily operations of the processing facility and realized that it is constantly changing.  You must be able to adapt to the changes and make the best of what you are given in order to continue to pursue and finally achieve your goals. I have gained a lot from my time in Arcadia and I will always carry it with me in everything that I do.

From June to August of 2018, I was part of the Reproductive Biotechnology lab at the Technical University of Munich lead by Prof. Dr. Benjamin Schusser. This University is one of the most prestigious universities in all of Europe. My goal in going to Germany was to learn a variety of different techniques that I may later apply in my own research and to learn the basic principles of reproductive biotechnology. After completing my stay, I can safely say that I have surpassed my goal. Though I learned a variety of techniques like pyrosequencing, the greatest take away from my internship was the realization that determination is the most important thing needed to be successful. People say it all the time, but it wasn’t until my internship, and after I had struggled a lot, that I truly understood the meaning of those words. Over the course of the internship, I also realized that being a researcher is what I want to do with the rest of my life.

Simmons Foods is a poultry company that produces high quality products for many customers around the world. Simmons provides products in prepared foods, pet foods, and animal nutrition. This internship allowed me to explore every section of their live production department. This department is a part of their prepared foods section. During the internship I learned a little bit about everything from raising and feeding birds to communicating with growers and the people of the industry. After experiencing this internship, I am even more confident in my decision to pursue a career in live production.

My internship this summer was at Cobb-Vantress. They are a company that provides genetics and breeding stock for poultry companies such as Tyson, George’s, and Simmons. The main thing this internship assisted me with was developing my people skills. It also taught me to become an effective listener. I also learned some valuable information about breeder production from one of our managers who used to be a breeder service-tech.

I did my summer 2018 internship in my home country, Bolivia. I interned in a family own poultry company, named Avicola Modelo. This poultry company owns many laying-hen farms as well as a hatchery, rearing and pullet houses and a feed mill. Since I am heading to my senior year, this internship made me realize what I enjoyed doing the most and also the least. I’m now sure I would like to learn more about nutrition. Having the opportunity to perform a trial with two different feeds and compare production, growth and livability was very exciting. The greatest take away would be the confidence I build towards myself. 

Qinsi Gao is a senior Poultry Science major at University of Arkansas. She interned at Simmons Foods Inc. QA Microbiology lab this summer. After spending entire summer at Simmons Foods Inc. she learned the main functions of microlab. She has done a few tests that helped her understood how pathogens grow, and was able to differentiate Gram+ and – bacteria. This summer intern helped her gain experience and knowledge in the related field, and helped her peruse her career goal. She can be reached by email

Cargill is a very philanthropic and safety oriented company. No matter where I went in the complex I was always reminded that safety was the first priority. This internship has really helped shape the way I begin to look at career options in the poultry field. It gave me a sense of what it would be like to work in a plant and the opportunities there are in a plant. I have honestly learned so much more from this internship than I thought I would. I was afraid I would be given a project and ignored. I am glad I was wrong. Springdale Cargill had a Continuous Improvement meeting with Cargill Corporate members and my project was actually the base they used to start their project. Our scopes were different but the project was the same.

To say I was excited when I learned I would be interning at the J.K. Skeeles Poultry Health Lab (PHL) would be an understatement. The chance to work with such highly regarded professors and graduate students made the decision a very easy one. The Poultry Health Lab, located at the University of Arkansas, was developed as a laboratory central to the poultry industry in Arkansas. Their goal is to identify, and discover solutions to, cutting edge problems concerning poultry diseases, health, welfare, and production. While at the PHL I was given every opportunity to participate in all aspects of their research. Believe me when I say I am so thankful for the opportunity the Poultry Science department has afforded me. I am overwhelmed and excited to begin this new chapter or my life, and I can only anticipate what the rest of my career holds in store.


Throughout the past two months, I have been working for Cal Maine Foods in Siloam Springs. During this internship, I have learned some very crucial objectives that will help me further my career in the poultry industry. During my term of work I have worked on the farm, in the plant, at the organic cage-free farms, and up front in the office. Each place that I have worked at I have learned how to properly execute a task. I mostly enjoyed the farm because the live side is what I am going to school for, possibly to be a nutritionist. Benton County Foods was able to put me in different positions to see what goes on when it comes to producing the highest quality table egg possible for the consumer. I will be able to take all of this information that I have learned, this will shape me as a student, this will also help me choose what I want to do in the poultry industry as a career.


I accepted an internship with Cobb-Vantress Inc. at their feed mill in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. My main responsibility at the mill was just determining how a feed mill works and runs. The part that I will cherish the most out of my internship with Cobb, is the relationships that I made with all the people I work with. This internship with Cobb has given me a new perspective within the poultry industry. I have had experience raising birds and processing them as well. The feed mill was new to me; I knew nothing about what happens inside. The feed mill is a complex building, and it is amazing that thousands of pounds of equipment is stacked right above your head. Every job within the feed mill is important in determining the quality of the feed. Chickens never rest, so there will always be a need for feed. The knowledge that I have gained from working at the mill will always stay with me.


My internship was with an 8-house broiler farm located in Goshen, AR. I was able to assist in many of the day-to-day operations. I would have to say that being able to just be on the farm and seeing what it takes to be a full-time poultry grower is my greatest takeaway from this summer. I am pursuing an Agriculture Business degree with a minor in Poultry Science. Whenever I graduate in May, I plan to become an agricultural lender. I want to specialize in poultry operations. So with me being able to see the inside and out of a poultry farm, I will be able to read people well enough to decide if they have what it takes to be a successful poultry grower. I am thankful for the opportunity I received with this internship. I have enjoyed my time here, and will continue to do so.


I was hired by Cobb-Vantress to work with their Southwest Farms division in Siloam Springs. Cobb is a broiler breeder company that produces parent stock birds to sell into the meat production industry. The team I worked with this year is the Arkansas production complex, dealing with the production of parent stock eggs coming from the contract grower farms. My greatest take away from this experience was how to effectively manage both birds and people at the same time. Along with that, this experience has enabled me to further my knowledge on how genetics work their way down the line from pedigree birds all the way to the market over time. This has greatly assisted me in understanding the big picture, and how our food is improved upon to meet new challenges in the market. Ultimately, this internship added to the foundation I am so eagerly building for my career.


I had the opportunity to intern with Cal Maine Foods this summer in my hometown of Green Forest, AR. Cal Maine foods are the number one Shelled Egg Producer in the country. This internship gave me a new perspective on the egg side of the poultry industry. I have not had much experience with the egg industry and this gave me a wide range of experiences in both the production and processing sides. This internship assisted me in expanding my knowledge and skill in problem-solving, becoming a good manager, and running a variety of facilities. It helped me to become a well-rounded asset to a management team. My biggest takeaway from this internship is that I developed a new respect for the egg industry and it helped me realize that this is where I would like to start my career in the poultry industry after I graduate.