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Poultry Science


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Why did the chicken cross the road? What came first -- the chicken or the egg? Poultry science students probably can't tell you the answers, but they certainly understand chickens.

Lonny Watson grew up on a poultry farm. Making it a career was the last thing on his mind. Instead, he wanted to study business.

"Anything BUT poultry," Watson laughs. "I was pointed more towards business and opportunities than towards the poultry industry."

Watson eventually discovered there were plenty of opportunities right outside his front door. One day at his parents' Alabama farm, a poultry company salesperson made Watson rethink his options. "He told me I should study poultry science, and mentioned Auburn University," says Watson. "I didn't even know there was such a program."

Watson traveled to Auburn and began researching the university's poultry program. Although he'd already been studying business for the past two years, he liked what he saw at Auburn and transferred to the poultry program.

A typical day for Watson involved classes and working on the university farm. "I'd normally try to have my classes scheduled for the morning, and occasionally would have classes mixed in with afternoon labs."

Evenings were spent studying, something which Watson says took several years to get used to. "When I first got to school, I was kind of going around in circles," he remembers. "I learned that if you do a bit of studying every day, then the night before the test you don't have to study so hard."

He took a lot of math -- in fact, he thinks he took more than what was required. But he didn't take chemistry in high school, so he had to scramble a bit to catch up. "It was a struggle," Watson says. "The chemistry classes were probably the hardest."

The poultry department was a close-knit family, says Watson. "There were only about 50 students and there was a real closeness as a group -- everybody knew each other and we all got along well. Even though we've all graduated and gone our separate ways, we still keep in touch from time to time."


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