Auburn University welcomed USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey to campus April 10 to help celebrate the opening of its newest facility, an administrative and classroom building at the Miller Poultry Research and Education Center. When completed next year, the 30-acre, multi-facility complex will be the world’s only research and teaching center to be comprehensive of the entire poultry industry.
Northey noted that with Auburn’s tradition of research, teaching and commitment to communities around the world, “the impact and the science developed here will reach far beyond the borders of Alabama.”
Auburn President Steven Leath said the Miller Center is being built “to push the poultry industry forward.”
“Industry is going to look at this and say not only are we doing cutting-edge research,” Leath said, “but we’re doing research at a place that can actually have practical implications for the industry.”
That type of research is vital, particularly as one of the world’s leading food industries faces mounting challenges and opportunities, said Paul Patterson, dean of Auburn’s College of Agriculture.
Because the poultry industry will continue to be faced with new consumer demands, new diseases, a growing global population, new challenges from trade partners and more, Patterson said, “That is why we are developing facilities like the Miller Center.
“It is our goal to be the leading institution in poultry research, education and outreach in the United States if not the world,” he continued. “We aspire to be the go-to destination when new challenges face the poultry industry. This is a lofty goal, but I think it is one well within reach, particularly with the development of these new facilities.”
The Miller Center currently includes nutrition and poultry management research facilities, an infectious disease facility, an administrative and classroom building and an equipment testing and demonstration facility, which houses the National Poultry Technology Center. A state-of-the-art processing plant is currently under construction.
The Miller Center’s final phase of construction will include a hatchery, a battery house, chamber and breeder houses and floor pen houses. The site of the Miller Center was already home to a feed mill and animal and poultry nutrition center, built in 2012.
For more information on the Miller Center, visit poul.auburn.edu/miller-center.