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Purdue Launches New Poultry Education Corner Website Teaching Young Kids About Turkey,


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“Peanut Butter” and “Jelly”—the two turkeys that were “pardoned” by President Biden at the White House in Nov. 2021. Ever since, they have both called Purdue University their home. Photo: Tom Campbell / Purdue University.

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According to the USDA’s latest Census of Agriculture, Indiana ranks third in the U.S. for turkey production—which makes it a significant part of Indiana’s ag economy.

That’s why a Purdue University Professor and her team have just put together a new website, as well as an educational program to teach kids about Indiana’s turkey industry and poultry sector.

“The new website—it just launched last month—is PoultryEducationCorner.com. All the resources are freely available to anybody around the world who would like to use them,” says Dr. Elizabeth Karcher, Professor of Animal Sciences with Purdue’s College of Agriculture.

She says the program offers several resources for teachers to adopt ag related topics into their classrooms—including their POULT program to teach students about the turkey and poultry industries.

“As part of the POULT program, we worked with the turkey industry, and they provided us with a review of all the different materials that we had prepared to make sure everything represented the industry’s side and what they would like to share about the important work that they’re doing.”

Dr. Elizabeth Karcher, Professor of Animal Sciences with Purdue’s University College of Agriculture. Photo courtesy of Purdue University.

She says the main goal of the program is for students to learn where their food comes from—and share the importance of Indiana’s turkey and poultry producers.

“In 2021, we piloted the program to about 475 students—about 25 classrooms in fourth and fifth grade classrooms across the state of Indiana,” according to Karcher. “The program consists of several online modules that a teacher can use. It has a simulation game that’s included and as well. We also provide resources to do an in-class activity with the students, so the teachers can have the students work independently on the modules during class time, but then bring them together to discuss what they just learned.”

One of the simulation games that kids can play is called “Backpacking Through the Turkey’s Digestive System!”

“I love this program because I also have young children and they like to play it as well after we developed it,” says Karcher.

“Students get to pick from one of three different ‘feed characters’ and they go through the digestive system on a backpack quest. They have to answer questions, they gather things along the way, and it’s just a really fun way to let them see the process to get the nutrients from the feed to the turkey. It’s all about being able to take complex ideas and integrate them into a way that a fourth and fifth grader can understand by playing this game,” she says.

For more information, visit PoultryEducationCorner.com.

Click here for more information from the Indiana Turkey Marketing Council.

Click here for more information from the Indiana State Poultry Association.

Click BELOW to hear C.J. Miller’s full conversation with Dr. Elizabeth Karcher, Professor of Animal Sciences at Purdue University, as she talks more about the outreach that she and her team with Purdue are doing to teach young students about Indiana’s turkey industry and poultry sector.

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