Pennsylvania’s poultry judging team has once again been ranked first in the nation


Penn State has now won this national contest two years in a row, four of the last seven

The Pennsylvania State College Poultry Judging Team, front row from left: Kathryn Schafer and Madison Berger; Back row, from left, Matthew Eyre, William Sonderiker and Philip Klauer (Pennsylvania State University photo)

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Collegiate Judging Team took first place in the nation at the 56th Fall National Collegiate Poultry Judging at the University of Arkansas Poultry Center of Excellence, Fayetteville, AR. November 7 and 8, 2022 Pennsylvania has won this national contest two years in a row and four of the last 7 years.

The team places included:

  • Tied for first overall with Texas A&M
  • Second place in the department of egg production and quality
  • Fifth place in selection and carcass quality

Team members were Matthew Eyre, Northampton, PA, majoring in Animal Science and Poultry; William Sonderiker, Attica, N.Y., majoring in plant science; Kathryn Shaffer, Aaronsburg, PA, majoring in Animal Science and Poultry and Poultry Science; and Madison Berger, White, Pa., veterinary and biomedical sciences, Poultry and Poultry Science major. The team was coached by Philip J. Klauer, associate professor of animal science at Penn State.

People who took a very good place in the competition:

Eyre placed 2nd overall and placed 7th in the egg production and quality division and 7th in the breeding and carcass quality division.

Sonderiker placed 3rd overall and was 4th in the Egg Production and Quality Division and 9th in the Breeding and Carcass Quality Division.

Shafer placed 12th overall and was 8th in the egg production and quality division.

Klauer said, “I was very proud of these four students. With 36 hours and a lot of travel issues, it was not easy just to get to the competition this year, but the team did really well.”

Other teams included Texas A&M, which tied Penn State for first place (the University of Arkansas remains tied); The University of Arkansas finished third; Fourth Mississippi State; Ohio State University is fifth, followed by Louisiana State University, North Carolina State University, University of Wisconsin River Falls and University of North Georgia.

Students prepared for the competition through a rigorous program of study as part of a 14-week poultry course in the spring and practice during the fall semester. The competition gives students an opportunity to demonstrate how well they have mastered their knowledge of breeding breeds for meat production, egg production, and purebred chickens, as well as USDA rules and regulations governing the grading of eggs and poultry carcasses.

Klauer noted that there are many employment opportunities for poultry graduates. Anyone interested in a career in the industry should contact Klauer at (814) 863-8960 or by email at

The judging team received partial funding from the Office of Undergraduate Education’s Student Activities Fund to travel to this event.

– Sally Brown Bear, Pennsylvania State University Pennsylvania’s poultry judging team has once again been ranked first in the nation

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