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I didn’t leave high school completely sold on poultry science.” — David Caldwell
By Jessica WessonCenter of Excellence for Poultry ScienceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Sept. 9, 2022
(Newsrooms: With art https://flic.kr/p/2nJT6Jg)
SAN ANTONIO — Straight out of high school, David Caldwell didn’t envision a career
in poultry science, yet he has been honored by the Poultry Science Association as
a Fellow for his contributions to the field of poultry science and service to the
The Texas native grew up in the small farming community of Taylor, where he was involved
in FFA. Caldwell had broilers and layers but wasn’t convinced that poultry science
was his future.
“I didn’t leave high school completely sold on poultry science,” said Caldwell, director
of the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science and poultry science department head.
“I actually began my undergraduate career as a wildlife biology major at Texas A&M
In his second semester at Texas A&M, Caldwell discovered the job placement rate for
his chosen major was not very high, so he decided to switch it up.
“I walked across campus to where the agriculture majors were housed, and that afternoon
I became a poultry science major,” Caldwell said. “It stuck. I’ve been here ever since.”
After graduating with his B.S. in poultry science at Texas A&M in 1991, Caldwell pursued
his graduate degrees.
“When I was working in the lab as an undergraduate and graduate student, I developed
an appreciation and a keen interest in research,” Caldwell said. “That really drove
me down the path toward academia and ultimately becoming a faculty member.”
He graduated from Texas A&M in 1997 with his M.S. and Ph.D. in veterinary microbiology.
Right after graduation, Caldwell joined the faculty of the Department of Poultry Science
at his alma mater.
“It was really nerve-wracking to join as an assistant professor, but I enjoyed the
fit,” Caldwell said. “I enjoyed teaching, mentoring graduate students and conducting
research that carried impact for our industry stakeholders.”
PSA a resource for success
The Poultry Science Association has played a large role in Caldwell’s professional
development and career success. He joined the organization as a college student in
1991, and it has been a resource for him ever since.
“In 2008 I received what was then called the Land O’ Lakes/Purina Mills Teaching Award
from the Poultry Science Association,” Caldwell said. “Teaching was always very important
to my career. I’ll never forget being recognized with that award.”
Caldwell also served PSA as an at-large director between 2009 and 2012, was elected
to the Executive Board in 2013 and served as president of the organization in 2015-2016.
On top of all his accomplishments and service in PSA, Caldwell was inducted as a PSA
Fellow at the 2022 Annual Meeting in July.
“The highest distinction that is given to a Poultry Science Association member is
to be named a PSA Fellow,” said Karen Schwean-Lardner, 2022 Poultry Science Association
president. “David Caldwell has contributed so much to this association, in his time
given to serve on the Board of Directors, committee assignments and much more. He
is also an outstanding scientist and is committed to student teaching throughout his
Caldwell said he was surprised by the award.
“It wasn’t until I attended the PSA Annual Meeting in 1995 in Canada that I noticed
Fellows being inducted,” Caldwell said. “I could see how much it meant to those individuals
being inducted. It’s nothing I would have ever expected, but I am very honored. It
means a great deal to me.”
“We are thrilled for Dr. Caldwell to be recognized by PSA. Dr. Caldwell has contributed
enormously to the poultry industry during his career and has provided exemplary leadership
to the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science,” said Jean-Francois Meullenet, associate
vice president for agriculture for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture,
director of the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station and interim dean for the
Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences. “I can’t think of anyone
more deserving of this honor. Congratulations to him!”
Established in 1908, the Poultry Science Association is a professional organization
consisting of approximately 2,000 educators, scientists, extension specialists, industry
researchers, administrators, producers, and college students who are committed to
advancing the poultry industry.
To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural
Experiment Station website: https://aaes.uada.edu. Follow on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch. To learn more about the Division of Agriculture,
visit https://uada.edu/. Follow us on Twitter at @AgInArk. To learn about extension programs in Arkansas,
contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit www.uaex.uada.edu.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen
agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption
of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative
Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work
within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas
System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex,
gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital
or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and
is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
# # #
Media Contact: Jessica Wesson email@example.com 479-575-3327