OAKWOOD, GEORGIA, US — Wayne-Sanderson Farms, a US poultry producer, is making a second $500,000 donation toward construction of Mississippi State University’s (MSU) new poultry feed mill, bringing the company’s total contribution for the multimillion-dollar research facility to $1 million.

The endowment, which pushes fundraising for the project near the halfway mark, comes on the heels of the recent merger of Wayne Farms and Sanderson Farms. Both legacy companies were longtime supporters of the university’s Department of Poultry Science program, ranked by industry leaders as one of the top programs in the nation. 

“We’re proud to continue our support as Mississippi State gets that much closer to reaching their goal,” said Clint Rivers, president and chief executive officer of Wayne-Sanderson Farms. “Every aspect of the poultry business, from educational leadership to scientific research, is positively impacted by the MSU program, and we’re glad to do our part.”

The new feed mill is part of a department-wide facility expansion and upgrade campaign underwritten by university funds and donations from Wayne-Sanderson Farms and other industry leaders. Recent modernizations as part of the overall upgrade to the poultry research unit include renovated poultry houses, research labs and an automated processing plant to support the school’s vertically integrated “farm to processing” poultry science program format. 

When completed, the new mill will feature nearly 5,000 square feet of interior processing space featuring grinding, batching, pelletizing and bagging systems, additional space for ingredient and finish feed storage, as well as outside grain storage areas. An onsite feed mill also will expand university poultry nutrition and feed manufacture research capabilities, existing degree program majors and minors, and potential for new feed manufacture programs.

“We are appreciative to Wayne-Sanderson Farms for their continued support of poultry teaching, research and service at Mississippi State,” said Scott Willard, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. “This additional gift places us one step closer to building a state-of-the-art mill to improve nutrition and feed manufacturing research and, most importantly, train the next generation of poultry leaders.”

The third-largest poultry producer in the United States, Wayne-Sanderson Farms owns and operates 23 fresh and further-processing facilities in seven states, employing more than 26,000 people making poultry products for retail, foodservice, restaurant, industrial and institutional segments.