A goal realized: Couple creates scholarship in poultry and animal science

Susan Bedsworth
August 20, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — For some, the desire to give back is ingrained in them from a young age. For others, it comes after experiencing the benefit of philanthropy themselves. And for yet others, it is simply something they feel called to do.

For George and Tina Georges, giving back was not only something they were taught to do while growing up, but also something they were actively preparing to do for many years. For George Georges, the savings effort began immediately upon his graduation from Penn State in 1986.

George and Tina Georges created a scholarship for poultry and avian science or animal science students.

George A. and Tina K. Georges

IMAGE: Provided

The result is the newly created George A. and Tina K. Georges Scholarship, which benefits students minoring in poultry and avian science or in animal science in the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences. The $50,000 gift from the Georges was matched 1:1 with University funds through the recently concluded First-Time Endowed Scholarship Matching Program.

“I wanted to give back to the institution and college where I received my education,” said Georges. “Prior to coming to Penn State, I had no background in farming or agriculture. Today, we own New Generation Poultry Service Inc., raise laying pullets and work with thousands of laying hens at various farms in Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland.

“New Generation Poultry Service Inc. also has a division for pest control and provides rodent control for many egg processing plants, poultry operations and feed mills in compliance with the FDA and Pennsylvania Egg Quality Assurance Program guidelines,” he said. “I wanted to give back to the University that educated me and started me in my career.”

Like 80 percent of today’s College of Agricultural Sciences students, Georges did not come from an agricultural background. He grew up in Media, Pennsylvania, outside of Philadelphia, as the son of Greek immigrants. He knew he wanted to obtain an agricultural degree and did not want to live in a city after graduation.

His father, who came from a small agricultural village in Greece, did not initially understand Georges’ desire to pursue agriculture. Georges eventually convinced him, however, that agriculture would ultimately be a good business and career decision.

He credits his adviser for steering him toward his minor in poultry science, while he was pursuing his degree in animal production. His adviser believed poultry would be a big industry in Pennsylvania, which convinced Georges to stay an extra semester to get a minor. During his undergraduate days, he also participated as a member of the Poultry Judging Team and lived and worked at the college’s poultry facilities his senior year.

After graduating in the fall of 1986, Georges gave his father a tour of all the facilities at Penn State, which left the older man impressed by all that agriculture involves.

“Agriculture is a science and a business,” said Georges. “You have to be a good scientist and a good businessman. We do a lot of research in our field, and we are responsible for flock nutrition, health, egg production and so much more. It’s a huge field, bigger than I ever thought it would be.”

Following graduation, Georges took a position at a turkey company in Virginia before returning to his home state to work at a few poultry businesses in the Lancaster area. The Georges started New Generation Poultry Service Inc. in 2001.

Georges hopes the gift he and his wife have made to the College of Agricultural Sciences will offer many benefits, including providing an incentive for students to consider pursuing a career in the poultry industry and inspiring other donors to make similar gifts.

“I hope other people follow our gift and make contributions or create scholarships that benefit not just the poultry field, but other agricultural fields, as well," he said. "That is my goal: to attract others to make philanthropic gifts to the college.”

“Establishing this scholarship is a wonderful gesture by Mr. and Mrs. Georges,” said Terry Etherton, department head and distinguished professor of animal nutrition. “Scholarships such as this are invaluable for students who benefit from the generosity of donors who have elected to ‘give back’ to the college.”

The College of Agricultural Sciences has one of Penn State’s largest scholarship programs, awarding more than $2.5 million annually. One in four students in the college receives financial aid through scholarships.

Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences represents the foundation of Penn State and its land-grant mission to serve the public good. To fulfill that mission for a new era of rapid change and global connections, the University is pursuing "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence," a fast-paced campaign focused on the three key imperatives of a 21st-century public university: open doors, create transformative experiences, and impact the world. Through teaching, research and extension, and because of generous alumni and friends, the College of Agricultural Sciences is able to offer scholarships to one in four students, create life-shaping opportunities, and make a difference in the world by fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more about supporting the college, visit agsci.psu.edu/giving. Information about the campaign is available at greaterpennstate.psu.edu.

Last Updated August 29, 2019