OAKWOOD, GA. – Wayne Farms LLC announced that it would donate $500,000 toward a $7 million research feed mill for Mississippi State University’s department of poultry science. 

“Wayne Farms is proud to play a role in this important project as Mississippi State continues to evolve and expand its poultry science program with a new feed mill,” said Clint Rivers, president and chief executive officer of Wayne Farms. “Advancing the level of practical, hands-on education available to our industry’s future workforce has never been more important.” 

Scott Willard, dean of the college of agriculture and life sciences and director of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, shared how the feed mill will impact teaching, research and outreach. 

“The new mill will add to the poultry department’s current positive trajectory by providing the scientists with the ability to develop and test new additives, ingredients, feed formulations,” Willard said. “It will also provide an excellent training opportunity for our students and industry. We are grateful to Wayne Farms for this gift that will go towards building a new feed mill to meet the needs of the poultry industry.” 

The university is currently working on a department-wide facility expansion and upgrade campaign. The new feed mill has been designed with input from an advisory board, including industry experts and WL-Portland. 

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.

The new mill will offer nearly 5,000 square feet of interior processing space featuring grinding, batching, pelletizing and bagging systems and additional space for ingredient and finish feed storage as well as outside grain storage areas. Having an on-site feed mill also shows expansion of the university poultry nutrition and feed manufacture research capabilities, existing degree program major and minors and potential for creation and growth of new feed manufacture programs. The new mill is currently in the fundraising stage. 

“We are grateful for the gift from Wayne Farms to contribute to this exciting project,” said Wes Schilling, interim head of the poultry science department at Mississippi State. “This gift, along with others from the poultry industry, will help us complete the project and enhance our ability to provide practical research, training and outreach to better serve Mississippi’s number one agricultural commodity, poultry.”