The University of Alberta recently implemented a November “reading week” break to match a long-standing February reading week break. This additional week without scheduled classes and laboratories was approved by the university with the intent that academic programming would be scheduled during this week to assist students in their
programs of study.

In 2016 a program was developed to provide students in Animal Science and Animal Health programs with the opportunity to volunteer to work on private farms, the University of Alberta Research Station or large animal/poultry veterinary clinics. The objective of the program was to enable students to gain initial experience so that they could have the experience and confidence to seek longer term employment in animal science. The 3-day internship program has been offered four times in Fall 2016 (15 students), Winter 2016 (22 students), Fall 2017(50 students) and Winter 2018 (38 students). Students must apply to the program, pay a modest administration fee and are interviewed to assess maturity, background knowledge and to find out their specific commodity interests. Students are then placed in groups of 2-4 and are expected to work 24 hours. An orientation session is provided to help prepare students for what to expect. Students either commute daily or are billeted on work sites. A wind-up session is held after the internship to debrief student experiences and to obtain suggestions for improving the program.

In the poultry area, the U of A has had students work on layer, turkey, broiler breeder and broiler farms. The last two internships have also had a placement with Poultry Health
Services in Airdrie. Students are not paid, and they provide boots and coveralls. For sites that are more than an hour drive from Edmonton, students may be provided with funding for accommodation provided by donors to the program.

Any producers interested in hosting students for Fall or Winter internships, or to learn more about the dates for next year are invited to contact:
Frank Robinson ([email protected]).