Wayne Farms has announced a $500,000 donation to contribute toward a $7 million state-of-the-industry research feed mill for Mississippi State University’s Department of Poultry Science. Wayne Farms is a long-time supporter of their poultry program, which is ranked by industry leaders as one of the top programs in the nation.

“Wayne Farms is proud to play a role in this important project as Mississippi State continues to evolve and expand its poultry science program with a new feed mill. Advancing the level of practical, hands-on education available to our industry’s future workforce has never been more important,” said Clint Rivers, Wayne Farms president and CEO.

Scott Willard, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, expressed the impact the feed mill will have on teaching, research, and outreach. “The new mill will add to the poultry department’s current positive trajectory by providing the scientists with the ability to develop and test new additives, ingredients, feed formulations,” Willard said.  “It will also provide an excellent training opportunity for our students and industry.” He added, “We are grateful to Wayne Farms for this gift that will go towards building a new feed mill to meet the needs of the poultry industry.”

The Mississippi State feed mill is part of a multi-phased, department-wide facility expansion and upgrade campaign underwritten by university funds and donations from Wayne Farms and other industry leaders. It has been designed with input from an advisory board, including industry experts and WL-Portland. Recent modernizations as part of the overall upgrade to the poultry research unit include renovated poultry houses, research labs and an automated processing plant to support the school’s vertically-integrated “farm to processing” poultry science program format.

The new mill offers nearly 5,000 square feet of interior processing space featuring grinding, batching, pelletizing and bagging systems and additional space for ingredient and finish feed storage as well as outside grain storage areas. The new mill will replace the existing costly and inefficient process of producing, batching, and bagging feed for transport to an offsite pellet mill to be pelleted, rebagged, and transferred back to the university. An on-site feed mill also means expansion of university poultry nutrition and feed manufacture research capabilities, existing degree program majors and minors and potential for creation and growth of new feed manufacture programs. The new mill is currently in the fundraising stage.

Wes Schilling, interim head of the Poultry Science department, added his gratitude for the investment in Mississippi State. “We are grateful for the gift from Wayne Farms to contribute to this exciting project,” Schilling said. “This gift, along with others from the poultry industry, will help us complete the project and enhance our ability to provide practical research, training and outreach to better serve Mississippi’s number one agricultural commodity, poultry.”

Individuals and companies wishing to contribute to the poultry feed mill project should contact Will Staggers, director of development, at 662-325-2837 or by email at wstaggers@foundation.msstate.edu.

Source: Wayne Farms