A gift to Auburn University’s College of Agriculture from the world’s leading provider of innovative poultry processing systems will significantly advance teaching, research and outreach capabilities at the new Charles C. Miller Jr. Poultry Research and Education Center, located on Auburn Lakes Road north of the main campus.
Marel Poultry will install a modular evisceration system in the processing plant now under construction at the Miller Center. Mitchell Pate, Miller Center director, said the system offers the highest level of technology.
“This equipment is essential to poultry processing,” Pate said. “With it, we’ll be able to simulate a commercial processing plant, and that will allow us to provide our students with real-world learning experience and facilitate our research in the areas of processing efficiency, animal welfare, food safety and quality and value-added product development.”
Randy Wilson, Georgia-based territory sales manager for Marel Poultry, said the gift reflects the company’s vision of a world where safe, quality food is produced sustainably and affordably.
“Marel felt it was important to equip the processing plant with modern, state-of-the-art technology that could help in research and teaching in such an important complex as the Miller Poultry Research and Education Center,” Wilson said.
The poultry processing plant, on track for completion in August 2020, represents the sixth and final phase of the Miller Center construction project. The project began in 2016 as an initiative to replace the existing Poultry Research Farm Unit, which opened off South College Street in Auburn in the 1970s.
Already complete on the 30-acre Miller Center site are the National Poultry Technology Center’s testing facility, the Administration and Education Building, two floor pen facilities for replicated poultry nutrition and management research, and the Poultry and Animal Nutrition Center and Alabama Poultry and Egg Association Feed Mill that opened in 2012. The South College farm will be demolished once the new complex is complete.