HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Aviagen® recently hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new feed processing facility in Pikeville, Tenn. There to do the honors were the Pikeville Chamber of Commerce, along with Pikeville City Mayor Philip Cagle, Bledsoe County Mayor Gregg Ridley and Jeff Aiken Deputy Commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. Other chamber members, dignitaries and representatives from state and local economic development were also in attendance at this momentous event.
Pikeville, Tenn., marks the company’s third feed processing facility in the U.S., and is now home to the country’s most advanced feed mill, the company said, adding that with a capacity of 3,000 tons per week (156,000 tons annually), the new facility will supply Aviagen’s internal flocks with nutritious, biosecure feed that is specially formulated for their unique dietary needs.
Built for food safety and security
Food safety and security are a top commitment for Aviagen, and the new facility leverages the latest technology available to achieve full pathogen elimination and comprehensive biosecurity. Aviagen was the first poultry breeding company in the United States to design and build its own feed processing facilities to eliminate contamination and ensure high levels of biosecurity. Adding to the company’s extensive biosecurity measures in and around the facility, the location in Pikeville was chosen for its physical isolation.
Richard Obermeyer, director of feed production for Aviagen North America, who was also present at the ceremony, said, “Protecting the health and welfare of our birds and keeping pathogens out of the food chain are our foremost priorities. This all begins with biosecure, high-quality feed. Pikeville joins our Sallisaw, Okla., and Athens, Ala., fleet of high-capacity, state-of-the-art feed processing facilities to keep our birds nourished with a healthy supply of nutritionally balanced feed.”
The new mill will benefit the state’s economy and agriculture, eventually bringing 260 new jobs to the area, including up to 36 positions at the feed mill. Because it is Aviagen’s goal to source locally, the grain supplying the mill will be purchased from local farmers as much as possible. Obermeyer estimates close to 1-1.5 million bushels of grain will be needed in the first year alone.
Just 26 miles north of Pikeville in southeastern Tennessee is Crossville, the location of Aviagen’s current veterinary laboratory, hatchery, office, vehicle maintenance facility, and a number of pedigree farms. The $35.3 million investment in the Pikeville feed mill is part of a broader development project for the Pikeville and Crossville area that will include the expansion of production farms and the Pikeville hatchery.
Due to high interest in the event, Aviagen has created a video tour of the Pikeville feed mill, which can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fxpOT0aNyE.
“I would like to thank Mayors Cagle and Ridley and all who worked with us to make this project a success,” Aviagen CEO Jan Henriksen said. “We are 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 — in particular primary breeding companies and the role we play in helping farmers feed the world.”
“We are excited that Aviagen chose Bledsoe County as the location of this strategic investment, which will benefit our citizens and our state,” Cagle said.
“As an agricultural community, we share Aviagen’s commitment to provide a sustainable and affordable food source for our local families and people around the world,” Ridley said. “We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship for many years to come.”