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5 Things About Me: Poultry scientist Jessica Butler

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AAAS Member and Congressional Fellow Jessica Butler shares her secret wish to have a career as a performer. (Photo: Jessica Butler)

Jessica Butler
AAAS Congressional Fellow
Washington, D.C.

Background: I received my bachelor's degree in Poultry Science from Texas A&M University and my master's and Ph.D. from Auburn University. I'm a poultry scientist who focuses on food safety. I'm probably the only one you'll come across since our major is only at about six schools nationwide. Since I focus on food safety, it's easy for me to cross discipline lines and offer assistance on a wide range of food types. I'm currently a congressional fellow on the hill, advising the congressman on several topics that range from agriculture and agriculture trade to education and environment.

Question 1: What fuels your passion for your work?
Answer:
I am passionate about shining a positive light on the agriculture industry. For as long as I've been in school, I can remember people and organizations that oppose commercial agriculture being put in the limelight, all the while we as an industry have remained silent. Last year I organized a symposium that focused on answering some of the current issues and challenges our industry faces from the consumer, media, and industry's points of view. I think it's very beneficial to arm our graduates with the correct, science-based information that they'll need to face adversity in our industry.

Question 2: Share a lighthearted story about yourself.
Answer:
When I return home to Texas, there's a chain of events that must occur when I step off the plane. The sequence of events starts with a pit stop at HEB for groceries (it's my favorite grocer ever), followed by a meal at Ricardo's Mexican restaurant and ends with a poppy seed kolache from my Nana.

Question 3: If you could have one day in another profession, what would you want to do?
Answer: I would love to be on the legitimate stage! I was cast as an "adult" in Auburn's annual presentation of The Nutcracker and it was the most exhilarating experience. I have the vocal range of a rock and I when I dance people liken it to a seizure, but I'd love to try it all the same.

Question 4: What's playing on your iPod/music player?
Answer: Broadway show tunes, Bob Schneider, various comedians

Question 5: If you had to go live on a desert island, what are the three things you would bring with you?
Answer: a hair band (all things are possible when I get my hair out of my face), a picture of my family, and baby powder (little known fact from a beach dweller; it's essential for removing sand from your person).

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AAAS Member and Congressional Fellow Jessica Butler shares her secret wish to have a career as a performer. (Photo: Jessica Butler)
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