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Since 1908, the Poultry Science Association has maintained a level of prestige that ranks it among the top professional organizations in the field. For over a century, PSA’s member scientists have contributed through their research to the growth of the poultry industry and the development of safer and more nutritious food products for the consumer. Throughout this period, PSA has served – and it continues to serve – as the premier clearinghouse and publisher of basic and applied poultry research in the world.
The application of research findings published in PSA’s journals has been and remains a major contributor to the rapid growth and maturation of the meat and egg industries. In addition, poultry-related research has made substantial contributions to the overall understanding of human health and nutrition.
In the fall of 1905, Professor Graham wrote a letter to all institutions in the United States and Canada that were engaged actively in poultry teaching or investigational work, as follows:
“We would appreciate a letter from you stating whether you could be at New York Show this year or not. If possible, I would like to meet the various men in charge of the poultry divisions of the Experimental Stations. It has occurred to me that we might get a good deal of information from one another if we had an annual place of meeting. If you intend to be at New York Show, I would be glad if you would let me know when it is, as I would very much like to see you there.”
In January, 1906, as a result of this call, four people met at the Ashland House in New York at the time of the Madison Square Garden Poultry Show. These were W. R. Graham, Ontario Agricultural College, Guelph; C. K. Graham, Connecticut Agricultural College, Storrs; F. C. Elford, Macdonald College, Macdonald College P.O.; and J. E. Rice, Cornell University, Ithaca. Unfortunately, there were not records of what transpired at that meeting. Apparently, no immediate organization resulted from it.
During the early part of the century, a Graduate School in Agriculture was held every other year in the United States, and each School was held at a different State College. In 1908, this Graduate School was held at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, and, in connection with the Course in Poultry, Professor Rice issued an invitation to all teachers and investigators in poultry husbandry, not only to attend the School, but also to attend a poultry meeting in Ithaca on July 23, 24, and 25, at which time problems that were common to all teachers and investigators would be discussed. And in the letter that went out, it was suggested that possibly they might have an organization meeting of the poultry group.
Quoting from the minutes: “In accordance with a notice previously given, requesting the several workers in poultry lines from the Agricultural Colleges and Experimental Stations in the United States and Canada now attending the Graduate School of Agriculture, a call was made to meet in the Amphitheater in Stimson Hall immediately after the close of the lecture in Poultry Husbandry. The meeting was called to order at 12:15 (Wednesday, July 22nd) and Horace Atwood of West Virginia was elected chairman. James P. Kerr of Agricultural College, Mississippi, was elected secretary. James E. Rice was called upon to state the object of the meeting. He spoke of the proposed conference of Poultry Instructors and Investigators to be held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, July 23, 24 and 25, 1908, and gave a list of names of persons expected.”