AGademics: How Wayne-Sanderson Farms Summer Interns Learn about Agriculture both Inside and Outside the Classroom

Growing up, Julius Reese dreamed of becoming a veterinarian when he was older and, like most people, that dream has evolved over the years, but one thing has remained the same, his love for taking care of animals. Now a poultry science major at Mississippi State University, Reese never wavered on his pursuit of a profession that kept him close to animals, but he did narrow his focus on the type of animals he was passionate about caring for, which is chickens.

After years of studying poultry science in his undergraduate courses, Reese decided it was time to apply that knowledge in the field by pursuing a hands-on training experience in Wayne-Sanderson Farms’ summer internship program. For Reese, the experience gained in the program was so valuable he decided to return to the program a second time this year, but this time on the live production side of the industry.

“I’ve learned a lot from the experienced employees at this company such as being aware and alert, listening and asking lots of questions,” said Reese. “My favorite aspect of the internship thus far is learning about all the different details required to make a quality, finished poultry product.”

Wayne-Sanderson Farms’ summer internship program is a paid, 10-week internship program that allows students to gain real-world experience, develop professionally, learn about the poultry industry and earn opportunities for full-time employment with the company. As an intern, students have the opportunity to work in four key areas of the company’s business, which are live production, processing, prepared foods and corporate administration.

During his internship this summer, Reese’s supervisors have praised his diligence to learning everything possible in a short period of time. “For the second time, Julius has proven to be a hard worker who is willing to tackle and learn anything that is asked of him in the internship program,” said Stacy Webb, manager of training and recruiting at Wayne-Sanderson Farms. “Interns like Julius are testaments to this company’s investment in employee training and development and the impact that investment will have on our future growth.”

Because of his experience in the internship program, Reese was inspired to pursue a full-time career with Wayne-Sanderson Farms and has since accepted a supervisory position at the company’s Hazlehurst, Mississippi processing facility. “The opportunities to advance your career here are endless, and I hope to learn all that I can learn during my tenure here,” said Reese.

While he still plans to complete his undergraduate degree later this year, Reese is determined to not waste any time making an impact in the poultry industry by helping other employees find their future at Wayne-Sanderson Farms through his new supervisory role. “I look forward to the opportunity to work alongside my team to produce quality and nutritious poultry products for consumers all around the world,” said Reese.

Participating in Wayne-Sanderson Farms’ summer internship program forever changed the trajectory of Reese’s career, therefore he encourages other students to look outside the traditional classroom setting for sources of knowledge about agriculture. “I would highly recommend the internship program to other students because it allows students to gain hands-on experience in the poultry industry and learn so many things they could never learn inside a classroom,” said Reese.