Poultry Internships—Career Training

Rows of chickens on a poultry farm

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Poultry industry careers (both in meat and egg production) have grown in popularity in recent years, and there are many internship opportunities available to those wishing to work in the field of poultry science. 

Poultry Industry Internships

Butterball (headquartered in North Carolina) offers an internship program for college upperclassmen with an interest in the poultry industry. Internships run for a period of 8 weeks. Students must submit a resume, complete an application, and pass a comprehensive interview. Further details on specific internships can be obtained by emailing Butterball directly.

Foster Farms Opportunities

Foster Farms offers internship opportunities in many areas of poultry production and business management. Opportunities are available both during the summer and during the school year. Internship locations may include California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Arkansas, Alabama, and Louisiana. In addition to the internships, Foster Farms offers a one-year management training program for recent college graduates and second-year MBA students. The company attends several major career fairs to recruit and interview students for the management program.

Midwest Poultry Scholarship Internship

The Midwest Poultry Consortium’s Center of Excellence offers a scholarship internship program in poultry science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Students who complete the two six-week summer sessions can earn 18 college credits for their participation. The program consists of lectures, lab work, industry field trips, and internship placement.

Paid Miller Poultry Positions

Miller Poultry (in Indiana) offers internships in a variety of areas including hatchery management, flock management, production, and processing management, plant management, and more. Internships run for six to twelve weeks. Interns are paid at the rate of $10 per hour. Housing is the student’s responsibility but the program will assist with finding suitable options.

10-Week Sanderson Farms

Sanderson Farms (in Mississippi) offers a 10-week poultry internship that runs from June to August. Interns may work in one of three areas: live production, processing, or the foods division. Compensation for interns is $12 per hour based on a 40-hour workweek. Interns have access to professional mentors and intensive training. After completing the internship, students have the opportunity to move into the Beginning Trainee Program. Internship applications are due April 1.

Tyson Foods Has 50 Openings Per Year

Tyson Foods offers approximately 50 internship positions each year. Interns have the opportunity to focus on one of many different job fields within the company. Tyson has many different plant locations from which the internships may be based. Students interning in the summer work a 40-hour week, while students interning during the school year work a 20-hour week while also attending regular classes. 

USDA Program

The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) offers the AMS Poultry Programs Student Internship Program for college students. Interns are paid a salary while completing the program, but housing and transportation are the responsibility of the student. There are three poultry position options for interns: agricultural commodity grader, market news reporter, and agricultural marketing specialist. Locations vary by semester and by position type.

Wayne Farms

Wayne Farms, a large poultry producer, offers internships to students attending Auburn University, North Carolina State University, Mississippi State University, and the University of Georgia. The 8 to 12-week summer internships generally begin in May or June. Internships may take place in any of the several different states where the company maintains a base of operations. Areas of focus may include live production, plant production, quality assurance, human resources, accounting, and finance, or sales and marketing. Applicants must be rising juniors at their college and commit to working at least 32 hours per week during the program. Successful interns may be offered employment after the program concludes.