Auburn University breaks ground on $6.3 million animal nutrition facility

By Katie Jackson, College of Agriculture

 

Auburn University broke ground March 30 on a $6.3 million facility designed to help animal industries in Alabama and beyond ensure production of the highest quality feed.

Animal scientists say that high-quality, nutritious feed is key to the success of any poultry, livestock or fish farming operation. Despite the essential roles that nutrition and feed play in supporting animal industries, few U.S. universities have focused their attention on this subject.

With strong academic programs in the animal sciences, including a comprehensive Department of Poultry Science, Auburn University recognized that need several years ago and began formulating plans for a cutting-edge animal nutrition facility. Those plans have come to fruition as construction now begins for the Auburn University Poultry and Animal Nutrition Center located north of Auburn off Auburn Lakes Road.

"This new facility significantly advances Auburn's teaching, research and extension efforts in the critical areas of feed science, technology and manufacturing," said Don Conner, head of Auburn's Poultry Science Department.

To ensure the needed capabilities were incorporated into this facility, a technical advisory committee of industry personnel provided critical input on technical specifications. This group, comprised of poultry nutritionists and feed milling personnel, evaluated every design aspect to ensure that both the design and equipment are optimal for meeting the industry's needs now and well into the future.

A unique modular facility design is being used to allow for flexibility needed in a research and educational feed mill. Equipment reflecting industry standards are at the heart of this facility, which is imperative in terms of ensuring that this facility will effectively serve the needs of the industry. Major feed mill equipment suppliers are helping equip this facility. The feed mill will be the first poultry science facility at Auburn's north campus, with a targeted completion date of December 2011.

"Today is a milestone in achieving a much-needed research and teaching poultry and animal nutrition center. This facility will be a flagship academic-industry feed mill facility for the Southeast," said Conner. "It will provide a unique opportunity to advance all of our academic programs to enable Auburn to better serve our clientele."

The Auburn University Board of Trustees recognized the long-standing partnership between Auburn University's Poultry Science Department and the state's poultry industry, as well as the leadership the Alabama Poultry and Egg Association provided in supporting this feed mill project. On June 18, 2010, the board passed a resolution naming the main building of this center the Alabama Poultry and Egg Association Feed Mill and Animal Nutrition Building.

The new facility will offer the technology and equipment to meet research needs, expand Auburn's outreach efforts via industry short courses for the feed and poultry industries, provide Auburn students with hands-on training in feed manufacturing and science, enhance outreach and proprietary research programs via contracting/leasing arrangements between Auburn and private companies and provide feed for Auburn University's research and teaching animals.

The center is funded through Auburn University monies, private donations and in-kind equipment donations. Fund-raising efforts are continuing. For more information on the feed mill, contact Conner at (334) 844-2639 or connede@auburn.edu or visit www.ag.auburn.edu/poul to learn more about Auburn's Poultry Science Department.

Last Updated: Mar. 31, 2011

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