May 19, 2023

Investing in Our Future: Aviagen Contributes to the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Poultry Science Smart Farming Research Facility

Inside of Farm

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Demonstrating an unwavering commitment to the education of future generations, Aviagen® has  made a significant contribution toward the development of a new Poultry Science Smart Farming Research Facility at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. Called the “poultry house of tomorrow,” this state-of-the-art facility, equipped with the latest technological advancements in the industry, will facilitate cutting-edge broiler research. The house is equipped with innovative technologies to collect real-time data for bodyweight, feed and water intake and environmental conditions. This “smart farming” data will be routinely electronically transferred to a cloud-based data storage service, allowing rapid and remote access through an app. House construction involved a highly successful collaborative effort with several allied poultry industry companies who provided cash and in-kind donations. Additionally, Michael Czarick, Senior Public Service Associate, Poultry Science, at the University of Georgia provided invaluable support in designing the unique house environmental control concept, testing the associated installed equipment and providing training to Division of Agriculture farm staff.

Strong dedication from University of Arkansas alumnus

Dr. Bryan Fancher speaking at event

Dr. Bryan Fancher speaks at the grand opening

Aviagen's Group Vice President of Global Technical Operations Dr. Bryan Fancher worked closely with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture to help make this innovative project become a reality, and was honored to be invited as a speaker at the grand opening ceremony on May 15. The Poultry Science program holds personal significance for Dr. Fancher as the University of Arkansas is his alma mater, where he completed a Bachelor of Science in Poultry Science and Master of Science in Animal Nutrition.

“It has been an honor for Aviagen to help financially support construction of this exciting project and for me to personally participate in creating the unique house design concepts. This facility will generate important new research findings and, as importantly, will serve as an excellent training center to prepare students for the future of poultry farming. We look forward to seeing creativity and innovation prosper here,” he commented.

Donation reflects firm commitment to the industry’s future

“Aviagen is honored to contribute to this remarkable endeavor. We are fully committed to supporting the next generation of poultry professionals and leaders. They hold the very future of our industry, and their dedication and innovation are essential for shaping a better world. We take pride in fostering their vision and passion, recognizing the sustainability of our industry hinges on their success," added Dr. Marc de Beer, President of Aviagen North America, who was present at the grand opening celebration.

Dr. Dave Caldwell, Director of the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science and Head of the Department of Poultry Science, commented, “We are grateful for the generous support of Aviagen and our other partners in making this sophisticated facility a reality. The commitment and funding provided by Aviagen, along with the invaluable contributions of Dr. Fancher, have been instrumental in bringing this project to fruition. We extend our sincere gratitude to Aviagen and Dr. Fancher for their dedication to our school and their shared vision for the future of poultry farming.”