The Department of Poultry Science and the National Poultry Technology Center at Auburn are nearing completion of the first phase of construction of a comprehensive, state-of-the-art poultry research and teaching facility.
The Charles C. Miller Jr. Poultry Research and Education Center construction site is two miles north of Auburn’s main campus, adjacent to Auburn’s poultry and animal nutrition center and feed mill that opened in 2012. The three-phase construction project began this summer with two poultry research houses and a poultry equipment testing and evaluation house. The testing and evaluation house will be the only facility in the nation dedicated solely to testing and refining equipment to improve poultry farming efficiency and profitability.
Miller was a forward-thinking poultry industry pioneer who earned a textile engineering degree from Auburn in 1938, followed two years later by a degree in agricultural business and economics. His son, Charles C. “Buddy” Miller III, and daughter-in-law Pinney Allen have supported the construction of the new center through a $2.5 million gift in honor of Miller III’s parents.
“This project is significant for Auburn University and for the Alabama poultry industry,” Paul Patterson, dean of Auburn’s College of Agriculture and director of the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, said. “We are deeply grateful to the Miller family and to the many individuals and organizations who have supported this center and helped bring it to fruition.”
Jim Donald, director of the National Poultry Technology Center, echoed Patterson’s comments.
“The support for this project has been overwhelming and shows that there is such a need for it in the poultry industry,” he said.
Alabama is one of the nation’s leading poultry-producing states. Auburn poultry science department head Don Conner said the new center “will position Auburn University to become the world’s premiere poultry and food science program.”
Phase two of construction, scheduled to begin in the spring, will consist of an administrative building that houses classrooms, offices and a reception area. The final phase will include live-bird research houses, a processing facility and a visitors’ center.
The poultry science department’s future plans call for relocation of its poultry disease facility from South College Street to north Auburn, approximately a mile from the new Miller Center.