Despite the essential roles that nutrition and quality feed play in supporting animal industries, few 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, officials noted.
Don Conner, head of Auburn’s Department of Poultry Science and leader in the effort to establish the new nutrition centre, 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 modelled after a modular nutrition centre 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.
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.