Reviving an industry legacy

Aviagen transforms decommissioned hatchery in Albertville, Alabama into modern Research and Training Center.
calendar icon 27 May 2019
clock icon 5 minute read

“Everything old is new again.” That phrase by American author Stephen King captures the sentiment behind Aviagen’s reviving of a decommissioned hatchery in Albertville, a rural community in northeast Alabama, US. Aviagen has transformed the historic hatchery into the new Research and Training Center. In a ceremony on 22 May, Aviagen CEO hosted the grand opening of the newly refurbished centre.

The new Aviagen Research and Training Center
The new Aviagen Research and Training Center

“Aviagen is committed to investing in research and development to bring ongoing bird performance improvement to our customers and to the industry as a whole,” commented Jan Henriksen, CEO, Aviagen. “The Albertville Research and Training Center plays an important role in our overall mission to provide quality broiler breeding stock to our customers that ultimately help provide local communities with a healthy, affordable source of protein.”

Aviagen has instilled the new centre with state-of-the-art technology and a rustic modern look, while preserving much of the original natural materials and charm. The newly restored building will offer multiple spaces where Aviagen teams can meet and learn with their valued customers and industry colleagues.

The new Research and Training Center is part of a larger campus known as the Aviagen Product Development Center, which also includes a research hatchery, processing plant and breeder and broiler farm. The complete operation is integral to Aviagen’s global research and development efforts.

Fusion of historic and cutting edge

While endowing the new space with leading-edge technology Aviagen went to great lengths to preserve its history. Much of the original building’s wood ceiling was reclaimed and repurposed to create a custom conference table, accent walls and a floating ceiling. The Aviagen core values are displayed on a wall of reclaimed brick from the original building, illustrating that the corporate principles form the foundation of all decisions and actions of Aviagen staff.

Ample meeting, research and training space

The Derek Emmerson Education Center will serve as the training hub. This 1,350- square-foot classroom will be home to the Aviagen Production Management School – a four week, international customer learning experience – as well as many other education events. The centre was named after the former Vice President of Research and Development, who supervised the US broiler breeding program.

Carrying the name of a former Aviagen Head of Research and Development and Deputy CEO who worked for the company for almost 40 years, the Nigel Barton Executive Conference Room will see much collaboration and idea sharing. This space will host internal collaborations, as well as meetings with customers, industry colleagues and academia.

And, from a state-of-the-art Farm Operations Center, staff and visitors may observe and monitor flock behavior and house conditions via streaming video of each of the poultry houses on the campus. The new space also includes a necropsy training room, which will lead to improved approaches to disease diagnosis and prevention.

“Out of our extensive R&D comes a wealth of knowledge on breeding advancements and best practices for improving performance and efficiencies for our customers,” said Dr. Eduardo Souza, vice president of Research and Development. “The new centre provides a modern, inviting space to further our R&D and share these latest developments.”

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