West Virginia University has something to cluck about: a fifth-place finish overall at the annual U.S. Poultry&Egg Association National Poultry Judging Contest held recently in Baton Rouge , La.

Five May graduates participated, taking third in both production judging and breed selection.

Lee Haggerty, a forestry major from Moorefield; Jenna Palmer , an animal and veterinary sciences major from Keyser; Adam Lassin, an animal and veterinary sciences major from Philadelphia, Pa.; Wes Shortridge, an agribusiness management and rural development major from White Sulfur Springs; and Sarah Regula, an agribusiness management and rural development major from Brownfield, Pa., made up this year’s WVU team.

Funded by the U.S. Poultry&Egg Association, the contest works to increase student enrollment in poultry science, said Joe Moritz, team coach and assistant professor of animal and veterinary sciences in the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences.

This year, 14 teams from colleges and universities around the nation competed in three categories: production judging, breed selection and market products judging.

The competition not only allows students the opportunity to demonstrate how well they have mastered the U.S. Department of Agriculture rules and regulations governing the grading of eggs and poultry carcasses, but provides the opportunity to network with members of the Poultry&Egg Association and faculty and students from other schools,Moritz said.