Teaching and research capabilities in Mississippi State University's Poultry Science Department have been expanded with the opening of a new poultry processing laboratory.

The facility is a scaled-back version of what students will find when they begin working in the poultry industry, said research coordinator Donnie Zumwalt.

“The laboratory contains the same type of equipment that industry is using and some they will use in the future,” he said. “It will give our students real-world experience while they are on campus.”

The addition of the laboratory also expands the capabilities of MSU's poultry science program.

“Having a facility that mirrors an industry processing plant will allow us to generate accurate yield data to follow up our applied research,”

Zumwalt said. “That type of data is valuable for the industry and hard to obtain without this type of facility.”

The laboratory contains almost $2 million worth of the state-of-the-art poultry processing equipment. Baader Johnson, a food processing machinery manufacturer based in Kansas City, Kan., and D & F Equipment Sales of Crossville, Ala., donated equipment and provided its installation.

MSU averages about 40 poultry science majors each semester. Following graduation they enter all phases of the poultry industry, including processing.