COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The United States is the world's largest producer of poultry, and high school students got some hands on experience at the 2019 Poultry Institute for Youth at A&M Monday afternoon.

High School juniors and seniors got to participate in processing sessions, genetics, food safety and lots of other poultry science-related activities.

According to National Chicken Council, Americans buy more chicken than any other food at the center of the plate. 

Chicken consumption has increased almost every year since the 1960’s. 

The institute works a recruitment camp to expose older students to A&M's poultry department.

For three days students are given hands on experience with cutting the raw meat, baking with different types of egg products and learning about chicken development from egg to adult.

“It’s really a snapshot of our department and the classes that they would take as a student in our department,” program coordinator, Lesley Gleason said.

And while it’s a fun experience overall, the main purpose of the camp is exposure.

“I think for the most part, it's important to educate our youth. You know, a lot of kids don't grow up in agriculture settings, and so they don't know where their food comes from. They don't know what chickens... how they develop. Our goal, again, is just to expose them and educate them in an area where maybe they have a little bit of knowledge, but don't know everything about," Gleason said.

The institute started Sunday afternoon and will last until tomorrow.