HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA, US— Aviagen, a poultry breeding company, plans to begin construction on a new feed mill in Pikeville, Tennessee, US, this month.

The new feed mill will have the capacity to produce 2,400 tonnes of feed per week or 125,000 tonnes annually. The new mill will supply more than 18 Aviagen pedigree and 46 grandparent (GP) farms, as well as additional future operations.

The goal is for the mill to achieve complete pathogen elimination and comprehensive biosecurity as well as utilize energy-efficient equipment and maintain a small environmental footprint.

“Our foremost priority is the health and welfare of our birds, which begins with biosecure, high-quality feed,” said Richard Obermeyer, director of feed production for Aviagen. “The Pikeville facility joins our Sallisaw, Oklahoma, and Athens, Alabama, fleet of high-capacity, state-of-the-art feed processing facilities to keep our birds nourished with an adequate supply of nutritionally balanced feed.”

Slated for completion in 2021, the new complex eventually will bring 260 new jobs to the area, including up to 36 positions at the feed mill. The company intends to buy grain needed for the feed mill from local farmers. Aviagen estimates it will need a million to a million and a half bushels in the first year alone.

“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,” said Marc de Beer, president of Aviagen North America. “Toward this goal, we continually upgrade and expand our facilities to keep up with an ever-increasing need. 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.”

Aviagen has allocated $35.3 million to build the new mill as part of a larger $100 million investment in the Pikeville and Crossville, Tennessee, communities. In addition to the mill, the investment includes 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 demand for parent stock chicks among the company’s domestic and international customers.