Thanks for your help. The guys at MITSFS were able to identify it through the Usenet newsgroup rec.arts.sf as "Early Bird" by Theodore R. Cogswell and Theodore L. Thomas, in the John. W. Campbell Memorial Anthology. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Bird_(Cogswell).
Now all I have to do is track down a copy (cannot find it anywhere on the web).
Engineer who has read thousands of science fiction books and short stories. Can recommend stories on specific subjects and comment on technical feasibility. Especially good at older out-of-print books and authors.