Ground was broken today, July 27, at Fresno State on the innovative Foster Farms Poultry Education and Research Facility, which is scheduled to open in the spring 2013, semester.

This state-of-the-art educational facility is made possible by a generous gift to Fresno State from Foster Farms, which is contributing to the engineering, design and construction as well as providing ongoing program support.

The 16,000 square-foot building will house an eco-friendly research and training center that replicates professional poultry production for students and faculty in the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology. The new unit will have advanced temperature control and monitoring systems, along with ultra-efficient LED lighting optimized for poultry production.

“Our students and faculty are thrilled about this exciting addition to our college,” said Dr. Charles Boyer, dean of the Jordan College. “The center will allow students to perform in-depth research, participate in hands-on learning and gain job skills in one of the leading agricultural industries.”

The Foster Farms Poultry Education and Research Facility will be situated on the Fresno State campus, north of Barstow Avenue west of the dairy unit (between Woodrow and Chestnut avenues).

“The facility will provide students with invaluable experience and will further research advancements in animal welfare, nutrition and environmental practices,” Boyer said.

Foster Farms’ Mike Pruitt, the senior vice president for live poultry operations, represented the company at the ground breaking ceremony. “Foster Farms is very pleased to be able to provide the funding for this facility and looks forward to the contributions that the faculty and students will make in advancing poultry science and husbandry,” he said.

A 2009 report by the American Meat Institute says poultry is one of the fastest-growing segments in California’s agricultural industry, contributing nearly 25,000 direct jobs to the state.

“Our students directly benefit from the close relationship our faculty members have with industry leaders like Foster Farms,” said Dr. Arthur Parham, chair of the Jordan College’s Department of Animal Sciences and Agricultural Education. “Hands-on experience in this field will help our graduates find employment and succeed in a variety of agricultural careers.”

Based in Central California, Foster Farms is one of the state’s leading providers of fresh chickens and turkeys.

The addition of the poultry facility at Fresno State builds upon the relationship between the company and the university. Foster Farms actively recruits Fresno State graduates and has a steady base of students participate in the company’s internship program each year.

For more information, contact Parham at

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