Aviagen, a global poultry breeding company, will break ground this month on a new state-of-the-art feed mill in Pikeville, Tenn. The new facility will supply the company’s growing number of internal flocks with 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.
State-of-the-art feed mill
The feed mill will supply more than 18 Aviagen pedigree and 46 Grandparent arms, as well as additional future operations. It will have the capacity to produce 2,400 tons per week, or 125,000 tons annually. It uses the latest technology available to achieve complete pathogen elimination and comprehensive biosecurity. It is also engineered for the smallest-possible environmental footprint with energy-efficient equipment and lighting.
“Our foremost priority is the health and welfare of our birds, which begins with biosecure, high-quality feed,” said Richard Obermeyer, feed production director.
$100 million investment
Crossville and the surrounding area is 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. In addition to the Pikeville feed mill, the Pikeville/Crossville investment covers new Grandparent 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.
“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 Aviagen North America President Marc de Beer. "Toward this goal, we continually upgrade and expand our facilities to keep up with an ever-increasing need."
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.”