As a high school student actively involved with the Future Farmers of America Organization, better known as FFA, Clayton Bill quickly realized his passion for agriculture. However, it took until furthering his academic career at Texas A&M University for Bill to identify his interest in the poultry industry.
“When I got to Texas A&M and I started working in the poultry science department, I fell in love with it because it wasn’t just about raising chickens, it was community, it was team work, it was family and you were doing something to help the country and the world expand one of their most important food sources,” said Bill.
By connecting the dots between agriculture and academics, the possibilities for a future career became endless for the aspiring young student. “I got to see all the different things you could do in agriculture, and it wasn’t just about being a farmer,” said Bill.
Now a senior poultry science major and quality control intern at Sanderson Farms, his academic experience actually opened the door for on-the-job experience in the agriculture industry through the influence of an inspiring Sanderson Farms employee, quality auditor Alicia Walker, who now serves as Bill’s internship supervisor.
“I decided to do an internship at Sanderson Farms this year because when they came to visit my school and talked about the internship program, it sounded like it was a more one-on-one, custom-built internship experience,” said Bill. “They really wanted to make sure that they got me into the field that I wanted to be in and had an interest in.”
Traveling throughout the company’s operations to learn various aspects of quality control including internal auditing procedures for animal welfare and food safety, Bill had the opportunity to learn details about both sides of the company’s business. “One of the coolest things about my internship program is it wasn’t just in production and it wasn’t just in processing. As a quality control intern, I got to see broilers, breeders, pullets, the hatchery and the processing plant,” said Bill.
In addition to the internship’s diverse operational learning experience, he found the company’s employees to be key components of the program’s educational value. “The people that I have worked with over the past seven and a half weeks, and will continue to work with through the rest of the internship program, have really been amazing,” said Bill. “They have answered any questions that I have, and they are always willing to help me better myself.”
Bill was particularly impressed with the Sanderson Farms Summer Internship Program’s focus on developing students for the prospect of future full-time employment with the company. “After I graduate next year, I definitely want to come back,” continued Bill, “and hopefully start my career at Sanderson Farms.”
Article by: AGademics – https://sandersonfarms.com/blog/agademics-clayton-bill/