Mississippi State University officials commemorated the completion of the university’s new Poultry Science Building with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Nov. 9.
The 27,300 sq. ft. building and its 4,700 sq. ft. connector adjoin the 34,500 sq. ft. Animal & Dairy Sciences Building, which opened last fall. The three-building complex of the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences also includes the 15,000 sq. ft. Meat Science & Muscle Biology Laboratory completed in the fall of 2018, the university said.
“The new Poultry Science Building provides our students and faculty with an exceptional teaching, learning and research environment,” Mississippi State president Mark E. Keenum said. “This building, as well as the recently completed Meat Science & Muscle Biology Lab and the Animal & Dairy Sciences Building, will further enhance Mississippi State’s national and international leadership in agricultural sciences research and education.”
Reuben Moore, interim vice president of the Division of Agriculture, Forestry & Veterinary Medicine and interim director of the Mississippi Agricultural & Forestry Experiment Station, emphasized that the facility is vital to the advancement of one of Mississippi’s most important industries -- poultry -- with a total impact of $20 billion on Mississippi’s economy and employing approximately 28,500 growers and workers, according to National Chicken Council and U.S. Poultry & Egg Assn. reports published earlier this year.
“Poultry and eggs are Mississippi’s largest agricultural commodity,” Moore said. “This new facility will enhance our programs to support this industry through research and outreach as well as train the next generation of professionals to work in the poultry industry.”
Professor Mary Beck, head of the Mississippi State department of poultry science, said the building is a vision and process several years in the making.
“This new building will enhance our abilities to serve our students, clientele and the state of Mississippi. This longtime vision and process came with support from the poultry industry and the university, our dedicated faculty and staff and our amazing students and their parents,” Beck said. “We're very excited to move into this wonderful new space, which provides easier access to the H.H. Leveck Animal Research Center, where a good portion of our teaching and research activities are conducted.”
The Poultry Science Building will serve the department’s growing student body, which includes approximately 70 undergraduates and 20 graduate students. The facility also will house the department’s 26 faculty members and staff. The space includes two classrooms, faculty offices, a conference room and a graduate assistant suite. There are 10 state-of-the-art research and teaching laboratories including the Dr. Elbert & Anne Day Teaching Laboratory, which is dedicated space for any class with a hands-on lab component, including avian anatomy, physiology and reproduction, poultry diseases, broiler production, processing and more. The building includes two labs dedicated to physiology, a five-room nutrition suite, a three-room microbiology/cell culture suite, a molecular lab and another lab dedicated to poultry products.
“Labs are assigned to specific faculty, or faculty groups, based on primary usage and expertise; however, we have a tradition of joint use access so that everyone in the department needing it has access to all relevant equipment and space,” Beck explained.
Mississippi State’s department of poultry science, one of only six departments granting poultry science degrees in the U.S., offers a bachelor’s degree in poultry science with concentrations in applied poultry management and science and pre-veterinary science. Master’s and doctoral degrees also are offered in agriculture with a poultry science concentration. The department includes faculty members in the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, the Mississippi Agricultural & Forestry Experiment Station and the Mississippi State Extension Service.