The Charles C. Miller, Jr. Poultry Research and Education Center held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday for the Center's new Administration and Education Building.
Once the other projects are complete, the Miller Center will be the world’s only cutting-edge research and teaching complex that is comprehensive of the entire poultry industry, according to a University press release.
Notable members of the University and agriculture industry were in attendance at the event, including U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey.
“This is about farmers," Northey said.. "This is about helping folks out there in the countryside. Likely, they will all be impacted by the things that happen here.”
Northey also commended the University for holding true to its ideals as a land-grant institution.
“I would just say what a great tradition continuing to support the land-grant tradition of science, of teaching, of sharing, of building leaders, of making the commitment to those across our states,” Northey said.
“The impact and the science that will be developed here is something that is going to be appreciated and valued outside of here as well,” he added.
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Auburn was recently named a Carnegie Research One Institution. Auburn University President Steven Leath said facilities like the Miller Center enable the University to stand out amongst other universities.
“Everyone that had a role in this facility, not only did you move poultry research and outreach forward, you moved the whole University forward on a worldwide scale,” he said.
Leath stressed the importance of forming partnerships with industry leaders. Many of the leaders are Auburn alumni, and these men and women play an important role in both education and research, he said.
“We’re turning out the people in industry that are actually contributing, and then they contribute back to us and our students with information,” Leath said. “It really makes a full circle and really makes us that special institution.”
Johnny Adams is the CEO of the Alabama Poultry and Egg Association. The industry accounts for 66 percent of all agricultural-economic impact in the state, something he said would not be a reality without the University.
“This would not have been possible without the unique partnership between Auburn University and the Alabama poultry industry,” Adams said.
With the completion of the Miller Center, Auburn will be home to one of the most advanced poultry research and education centers in the world, he said.
“This research facility, combined with the state-of-the-art poultry science building on campus along with the National Poultry Technology Center, completes the circle of success in teaching research and extension to Alabama’s poultry industry,” Adams said.
Also in attendance were members of Charles Miller’s family, including his son Buddy. Donald Conner, department head of the Poultry Science College of Agriculture, thanked the Miller family for allowing the Center to become a reality.
“It was (the Miller’s) generosity and encouragement that served as a catalyst to establish this world-class poultry center here at Auburn University.” Conner said.
Paul Patterson, dean of the College of Agriculture, spoke at the close of the ceremony. He said the Center will serve as an incubator for research to meet the needs of a growing population and the challenges that come with trade partners.
“We must continue to support research, teaching, and outreach needed for our agricultural sector,” Patterson said. “It is our goal to be the leading institution in poultry research, education and outreach in the United States, if not the world.”
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