Wayne-Sanderson Farms has announced a second donation of $500,000 toward construction of Mississippi State University’s new poultry feed mill, bringing the company’s total contribution to the facility to $1 million. With this donation, MSU’s department of poultry science is closing in on the halfway mark for funding its multimillion-dollar research mill facility. 

The endowment comes on the heels of the recent merger of Wayne Farms and Sanderson Farms—both legacy companies were long-time supporters of the MSU poultry program, ranked by industry leaders as one of the top programs in the nation. Poultry is the top agricultural commodity in Mississippi, contributing nearly $2.7 billion to the state’s economy in 2021 and ranking sixth nationally in broiler production.

“We’re proud to continue our support as Mississippi State gets that much closer to reaching their goal,” said Clint Rivers, Wayne-Sanderson Farms president and CEO. “Every aspect of the poultry business, from educational leadership to scientific research, is positively impacted by the MSU program, and we’re glad to do our part.”

The new feed mill is part of a department-wide facility expansion and upgrade campaign underwritten by university funds and donations from Wayne-Sanderson Farms and other industry leaders. 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. 

When completed, the new mill will feature nearly 5,000 square feet of interior processing space featuring grinding, batching, pelletizing and bagging systems, additional space for ingredient and finish feed storage, as well as outside grain storage areas. An on-site feed mill will also expand university poultry nutrition and feed manufacture research capabilities, existing degree program majors and minors and potential for new feed manufacture programs.


“We are appreciative to Wayne-Sanderson Farms for its continued support of poultry teaching, research and service at Mississippi State,” said Scott Willard, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. “This additional gift places us one step closer to building a state-of-the-art mill to improve nutrition and feed manufacturing research and, most importantly, train the next generation of poultry leaders.”

Kelley Wamsley, associate professor of poultry nutrition and feed manufacture in the poultry science department, has led the fundraising effort to build a new feed mill. She added her appreciation of the gift. 

“This additional support coming from a company that has had such a large presence in the state of Mississippi is so meaningful,” said Wamsley.  “The intent for this project is to take our department’s current research, teaching and service to the next level to produce top-notch research and students, as well as be relevant for feeding our world’s growing population.”

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.