FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Cargill has donated $150,000 to fund a poultry research center on the Univ. of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture farm north of the Fayetteville, Arkansas, campus. Tyson Foods provided matching dollars provided as part of a $1.3 million gift to fund various improvements to the Division of Agriculture’s farm.

The 4,200-sq.-ft. facility will be named the Cargill Poultry Research Center. Poultry health researchers, flock management specialists and nutritionists within the Division of Agriculture, including graduate students and post-doctoral employees will research alternatives to antibiotics to keep poultry healthy, according to Cargill. Researchers will be evaluating products currently available, as well as developing probiotics and other products for commercialization.

“Cargill is pleased to support of the work being done by the Division of Agriculture,” said Dr. Brian Wooming, Cargill turkey veterinarian based in Springdale, Arkansas. “Our goal is to continuously work toward reducing the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture and the work that will be done at this new facility is essential to helping achieve that objective. We are proud to be part of this effort.”

Tapped to lead the center is Billy Hargis, veterinarian, Ph.D. and director of the Poultry Health Lab for the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science at the Division of Agriculture. Hargis joined the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science in 2000. His research areas are poultry health, food safety intervention and poultry immunology and endocrinology. He was named a Poultry Science Association fellow in 2015 and distinguished professor in 2017.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the center was held April 19.