Aviagen announced this week it will break ground this month on a new state-of-the-art feed processing facility (feed mill) in Pikeville, Tenn, according to a company press release.

The new facility will supply the company’s growing number of internal flocks with high-quality, 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.

With the capacity to produce 2,400 tons per week (125,000 tons annually), the feed mill will supply more than 18 Aviagen pedigree and 46 Grandparent (GP) farms, as well as additional future operations. It leverages the latest technology available to achieve complete pathogen elimination and comprehensive biosecurity. With energy-efficient equipment and lighting, it is also engineered for the smallest-possible environmental footprint.

“Our foremost priority is the health and welfare of our birds, which begins with biosecure, high-quality feed,” explained Richard Obermeyer, Director of Feed Production. “The Pikeville facility joins our Sallisaw, Okla., and Athens, Ala., fleet of high-capacity, state-of-the-art feed processing facilities to keep our birds nourished with an adequate supply of nutritionally balanced feed.”

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.