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November 24, 2009   Email to Friend 

Katie Jackson
(334) 844-5887
November 24, 2009

The new Auburn University feed mill will be modeled after one operating at California Polytechnic University's San Luis Obispo campus. The interior of the center is shown here.
AUBURN, Ala. --  High-quality, nutritious feed is key to the success of any poultry or livestock operation, and soon, a new $7-million, state-of-the-art feed mill and animal nutrition facility at Auburn University will help animal industries provide the best feed possible.

Despite the essential roles that nutrition and quality feed play in supporting animal industries, few of the nation's universities focus on those areas. Auburn, which has strong academic programs in poultry science and in animal sciences, recognized the need for such several years ago and began formulating plans for an advanced animal nutrition facility. Auburn will break ground on the dream facility in early 2010.

Don Conner, head of Auburn's Department of Poultry Science and leader in the effort to establish the new nutrition center at Auburn, said the new feed mill will significantly advance Auburn's teaching, research and extension efforts in feed science, technology and manufacturing.

"Auburn University is the ideal location for this much-needed academic feed mill facility, as this campus lies in the heart of the southeastern U.S., where the majority of U.S. broiler production is located," Conner said. The new facility's design will be flexible so that it can be used not only for the poultry industry but for the beef cattle, pork and aquaculture industries as well.

The facility will be modeled after a modular nutrition center recently constructed on California Polytechnic University's San Luis Obispo campus. Conner said the modular design minimizes construction costs and time, allows for the flexibility needed in an academic feed mill and enhances the teaching value of the facility. "This facility will be a flagship academic/industry feed mill facility for the Southeast," Conner said. "It will provide a unique opportunity to advance Auburn's relevant programs to enable the university to better serve our industry clientele." The center will contain equipment representing current and future industry standards, which Conner said is imperative to ensure the facility effectively serves the needs of the industry.

Krebs Engineering of Birmingham and T. E. Ibberson of Hopkins, Minn., will design the feed mill, with a technical advisory committee that includes poultry nutritionists and feed-milling personnel providing input on technical specifications. The committee will evaluate every design aspect to make certain that the design and the equipment will be optimal for meeting the industry's needs now and well into the future.

That will result in a feed mill and nutrition center that will give scientists 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.

Auburn University monies, in-kind equipment donations and private donations will fund the feed mill project. To date, about 15 percent of the funding has been secured, which means more support is needed to complete the project.

For more information on the feed mill and on donor opportunities, contact Conner at (334) 844-2639 or Connede@Auburn.edu. Visit www.ag.auburn.edu/poul to learn more about Auburn's Poultry Science Department.

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