The Arka Tech

ATU Agriculture students attend national conference

Students and professors from the Tech Department of Agriculture attend a trade show at The International Production and Processing Expo. (left to right) Dr. Mack Rainey, head of the Department of Agriculture and professor of animal science, Reba Hunt, Paul Bennett, Paige Tipton, Dr. Willy Hoefler, professor of animal science.

Three students and two professors from the Arkansas Tech Department of Agriculture recently returned from a trip to Atlanta, GA, where they attended The International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE). IPPE brought together more than 1,200 exhibitors and 30,000 visitors, making it the largest annual trade show for the poultry, meat and feed industries.

During the expo, students had the opportunity to learn more about the animal protein industry and interview for full time jobs and internships with potential employers.

Dr. Mack Rainey, head of the department of agriculture at Tech, said he hopes the expo opened the eyes of students to the career possibilities in the field of agriculture.

“The size and scope of the agribusiness industry and the relationship we have with other disciplines such as engineering and computer science is not always considered when thinking about agriculture,” he said. “I hope the networking experiences the students gained from IPPE is something they’ll take advantage of as they pursue careers in the future.”

Agricultural business animal science major Paul Bennett said he was able to explore new career possibilities and innovations in agriculture.

“It was nice to see the latest technology that’s breaking through for farmers and professionals in ag,” he said. “I really enjoyed the time I was able to spend talking to industry specialists during our time at trade show.”

The trip was partially funded through contributions to the Ag Foundation at Arkansas Tech. For more information about the Arkansas Tech Department of Agriculture, visit