Peco Foods donates $80,000 towards research barn and refitted broiler house

by George Jared ([email protected]) 717 views 

Peco Foods has donated $80,000 to the Arkansas State University College of Agriculture. The funds will be used to remodel a barn and transform the existing structure into a modern broiler house.

The project is expected to be completed in two to three months.

“We are extremely fortunate to receive funding from Peco Foods to build a modern broiler grow-out facility that will greatly increase training and research opportunities for our students,” said Dr. Donald “Bud” Kennedy, associate dean and professor of animal science in the College of Agriculture.

“As active members of the communities where we live, work and conduct business, we are honored to support Arkansas State University’s new broiler project,” said Duane Weems, Pocahontas live operations manager for Peco Foods.

The transformation of an existing barn at the A-State University Farms was slated to begin at the end of November. The existing barn is a wide-open structure with a tin roof and no technology.

“A new broiler complex aligns well with our new strategic plan and offers a high degree of experiential learning for students,” said Dr. Mickey Latour, dean of the College of Agriculture. He said the new facility will have fans, cooling pads, heating units that are regulated through technology to optimize bird health and growth.

“We are thankful for educational institutions like A-State who prepare our future workforce with a strong education through research and hands-on learning opportunities,” said Weems.

The strategic plan emphasizes the importance of hands-on learning.

“This type of partnership aligns with the College of Agriculture’s Strategic Plan to enhance the career readiness of our students and provide high-quality employees to the largest agricultural industry in Arkansas,” said Kennedy.

Latour said that a modern broiler house would include a high degree of technology. “The technology in newer modern facilities adjust the temperature, air flow, lighting and watering automatically for the broilers,” he said.

Northeast Arkansas is dominated by row crop farming but is also an ideal location for poultry production. One goal of this project is to increase opportunities for students and raise the profile for poultry production in Northeast Arkansas.