JCJC & MSU new partnership helps poultry science students & industry

Written By: Teresa McCreery
Email Address: teresa.mccreery@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2013-08-09 06:51:45

ELLISVILLE – Jones County Junior College’s poultry science students will enjoy more of a seamless transition when they head to Mississippi State University, thanks to a two-plus-two agreement. JCJC President, Dr. Jesse Smith and MSU President, Dr. Mark Keenum announced the agreement would affect students beginning this fall, allowing specific courses in JCJC’s curricula to transfer to MSU’s poultry science program.
“Since 1987 almost half of all Mississippi State’s poultry science students started their college education at JCJC, so this agreement will make it easier for these students pursuing their degree and getting a job in one of the state’s largest industries,” said Tim Ishee, JCJC’s agriculture science instructor.
Ensuring opportunities for students to excel in the industry as well as the classroom was one of the main objectives with this agreement, according to Dr. Smith.
“We have to continue to provide the best talent to maintain and promote one of the best and thriving industry’s in Mississippi,” said Dr. Smith.
The state’s poultry industry annually generates $2.47 billion, representing 33 percent of the state’s total agricultural value. Sanderson Farms is the state’s largest broiler producer, and is based in Jones County. The company’s COO and President of Sanderson Farms, Lampkin Butts was on hand for the announcement and said he likes the potential impact this agreement will have on the industry. 
“We’re very excited about this two-plus-two agreement. JCJC and MSU both have great programs that will help the industry grow.”
Restructuring the process for both students and faculty was the driving force behind the modifications said Mary Beck, MSU poultry science professor and department head. Beck, noted these changes mean students will save money and time but it also means they can head straight into a career in the industry, with 100 percent job placement. 
“We could place double the number of students,” Beck said. “We can’t supply enough students for the industry’s needs.”
MSU’s poultry science department is one of only six in the nation, offering four degree tracks: production systems, business management, processed products and pre-veterinary medicine. Today’s announcement is one of numerous two-plus-two curricula agreements MSU has with Mississippi community colleges, according to MSU president, Dr. Keenum. However this agreement will have far reaching effects.
“This collaboration between our university and JCJC is a win-win for both institutions and for the state of Mississippi as we prepare well qualified professionals to work in a field that is of tremendous importance to our economy,” Keenum said. 
JCJC students will not have to worry that some classes might not transfer when they enroll at MSU, noted Keenum.


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