Poultry Panel Experts – Animal Scientists

Patricia (Scotti) Hester, Professor of Animal Sciences, Purdue University

Dr. Hester has been on the Purdue University faculty since December 1976. Her BS in Poultry Science and PhD in Poultry Physiology are from North Carolina State University. As a recipient of a Nicholas Fellowship sponsored by Cuddy Farms, she spent a six-month industrial sabbatical in Strathroy, Ontario in 1987. Dr. Hester has been a member of the United Egg Producer’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Animal Welfare since its inception in 1998 and currently serves as chair. Dr. Hester led a team of esteemed poultry scientists from a wide array of universities and industry to update welfare guidelines for the care and use of poultry in university research and education (the poultry chapter of the 2010 FASS “Ag Guide”).

Dr. Hester served as President of the Poultry Science Association (PSA) in 2005, was named a PSA Fellow in 2009 and received the Poultry Welfare Research Award in 2010. In 2009, she received the North Carolina State University Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Dr. R. Michael Hulet, Associate Professor of Animal Science, Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Hulet received an MS in Animal Science from Brigham Young University and PhD in Poultry Science from Texas A&M University. In his present position, he is primary instructor and organizer of Poultry Production and Management courses.

He has conducted research on topics such as Evaluation of Antibiotic-Free and Organic Husbandry Methods and has conducted educational activities for the National Poultry Waste Management Symposium and Poultry Management and Health seminars. He has authored or co-authored articles in scientific and trade journals. His future plans include research and development of information to enable improved handling, transportation, and biosecurity in the poultry industry.

Dr. Sally Noll, Professor of Poultry Science, Department of Animal Science, University of Minnesota

Dr. Noll earned her MS and PhD from the University of Minnesota. Her research interests include Nutrition and Feeding of Market Turkeys, Management of Health and Stress Interactions in Turkeys and Improving Poultry Waste Utilization.

Her honors include the National Turkey Federation Research Award in 2008, the AFIA Poultry Nutrition Award in 2006 and the 2005 Turkey Grower Association President’s Award.

Dr. Yvonne Vizzier Thaxton, Professor, Director Center for Food Animal Well-Being, University of Arkansas

Dr. Thaxton received her MS in Biological Sciences from Mississippi University for Women and her PhD in Poultry Pathology from Auburn University. She currently is Professor and Director at the Center for Food Animal Well-Being at the University of Arkansas and Professor Emeritus at Mississippi State University.

From 1992 to 2012, she held a variety of positions with Mississippi State University including Interim Head of the Department of Poultry Science. She previously worked in private industry as a microbiologist including Vice President of Science and Quality Assurance at Marshall Durbin Foods. Dr. Thaxton has served as a consultant to the American Humane Association and was executive editor of POULTRY Magazine, Marketing and Technology Group. She’s a past president of the Southern Poultry Science Society and the American Poultry Historical Society and is a former member of the American Society of Microbiology and several other professional organizations.

Dr. Bruce Webster, Professor and Extension Coordinator, Poultry Science Department, University of Georgia

Dr. Webster received his MS and PhD from Canada’s University of Guelph. His fields of specialization include Poultry Behavior, Animal Welfare, and Environmental Management and he is active in the study of animal behavior and welfare with the purpose of developing practical solutions to legitimate animal welfare concerns.

As Extension Coordinator, he has responsibility for coordination and development of the Department of Poultry Science extension programs including all in-service training programs for county agents and Vo-Ag teachers as well as the youth (4-H and FFA) poultry science programs. Dr. Webster has contributed to a number of national committees addressing animal welfare and has served as chairman of the Animal Care Committee of the Poultry Science Association. He has provided advice on poultry care and welfare to food retailers and is a member of the International Society for Applied Ethology.