New site is part of $100M North American investment
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Global poultry breeding company Aviagen® is breaking ground on a new state-of-the-art feed processing facility (feed mill) in Pikeville, Tenn. The new facility will supply the company’s growing number of internal flocks with high-quality, pathogen-free feed.
The $35.3 million allocated to the feed mill is part of a larger $100 million investment for the company in the communities of Pikeville and Crossville in southeastern Tennessee, the company announced.
State-of-the-art with optimal biosecurity
With the capacity to produce 2,400 tons per week (125,000 tons annually), the feed mill will supply more than 18 Aviagen pedigree and 46 grandparent (GP) farms, as well as additional future operations.
It leverages the latest technology available to achieve complete pathogen elimination and comprehensive biosecurity. With energy-efficient equipment and lighting, it is also engineered for the smallest-possible environmental footprint, Aviagen said.
“Our foremost priority is the health and welfare of our birds, which begins with biosecure, high-quality feed,” said Richard Obermeyer, Aviagen director of feed production. “The Pikeville facility joins our Sallisaw, Okla., and Athens, Ala., fleet of high-capacity; state-of-the-art feed processing facilities to keep our birds nourished with an adequate supply of nutritionally balanced feed.”
Meeting a rising need
Crossville and the surrounding area is currently home to an Aviagen veterinary laboratory, hatchery, office, vehicle maintenance facility and pedigree farms. The new Pikeville feed processing facility is included in a broader expansion that will double the company’s current investment in the Pikeville and Crossville area, the company noted. (These communities are approximately 26 miles/42 kilometers apart).
In addition to the Pikeville feed mill, the Pikeville/Crossville investment covers new GP production farms and the expansion of a Pikeville hatchery. The farms will produce eggs for Aviagen hatcheries, which will in turn fulfill a continually growing demand for parent stock chicks among the company’s domestic and international customers.
The site for the new operations was chosen for its proximity to the company’s existing production bases, as well as for its physical isolation, adding to the extensive biosecurity measures.
Slated for completion in 2021, the new complex will eventually bring 260 new jobs to the area, including up to 36 positions at the feed mill. Another benefit to Tennessee agriculture is that grain supplying the feed processing facility will be purchased from local farmers; the company estimates the need for a million to a million and a half bushels in the first year alone, the company added.
“Our mission is to help our producers around the world feed their growing communities with a sustainable, affordable and readily available source of quality protein. Toward this goal, we continually upgrade and expand our facilities to keep up with an ever-increasing need,” said Aviagen North America President Marc de Beer. “We’re committed to the people of Tennessee, and are happy to expand our footprint there. It is a state with an impressive workforce, and one that understands agriculture — particularly primary breeding companies and the important role we play in the food supply chain.”
Pikeville Mayor Philip Cagle extended a warm welcome to the new Aviagen teams.
“We’re proud that Aviagen chose this area, bringing us much-needed jobs and also an opportunity for our local farmers to supply grain for the feed mill. Aviagen is a great asset for our community, benefiting Pikeville and the entire Sequatchie Valley,” Cagle said.
“We’re grateful to Aviagen for selecting Bledsoe County as the location of this important strategic investment, which will prosper citizens throughout the county. As an agricultural community, we share Aviagen’s commitment to provide a valuable food source for our local families and people around the world. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship for many years to come,” Gregg Ridley, Bledsoe County mayor, added.
For further information, visit www.aviagen.com.