A new home for the University of Georgia’s next generation of poultry scientists and industry leaders officially opened its doors on Oct. 6 as the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences dedicated its new Poultry Science Building.

“The University of Georgia is a land-grant institution that serves our entire state through teaching, research and service, and UGA’s strong relationship with the poultry industry exemplifies this land-grant mission,” President Jere W. Morehead said. “The new Poultry Science Building that we are dedicating today represents what is possible when private donors and government, industry and university leaders all work together to advance agriculture and higher education in our state.”

State and university funds as well as private donations supported the construction of the $54.1 million facility.

The new home for the department of poultry science will give faculty, staff and students access to modern labs, collaborative meeting spaces and classrooms with the latest technology. During the ceremony, Morehead announced one of those spaces would be dubbed the “Abit Massey Classroom,” named after the UGA alumnus and president emeritus of the Georgia Poultry Federation.

The expanded resources found throughout the 70,000-square-foot facility will enhance students’ experiences and strengthen the poultry science department’s abundant learning and development opportunities, said senior poultry science major Sage Barlow.

“This gorgeous, new Poultry Science Building will be a home away from home for many of us here,” Barlow said. “It will be a place of learning and discovery, a place where students spend long hours studying and conducting research to advance the industry, and a place that brings together members of the agriculture community and our department.”

The building is an investment not only in a physical space but also in the future of poultry science and UGA’s legacy, said Nick Place, CAES dean and director.

“At UGA, we have been conducting transformational poultry research, instruction and extension outreach for decades — research that has changed the way the poultry industry operates, instruction that equips the next generation of leaders like Sage, and outreach that supports industry and producers at all levels, from the individual to the corporation,” Place said. “I look forward to our work together as we continue show the world that here in Athens, Georgia, UGA and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences are leading the way in poultry science.”

This building is one of many recent examples of the university’s commitment to research and scientific advancement as well as to the state of Georgia as a whole, said Gov. Brian Kemp.

“We know the prosperity of our agriculture industry is not just essential for our farming families, it’s essential for our state’s economic success. Not only is agriculture our largest industry, but Georgia is the top poultry producing state in the United States,” Kemp said.

“That accomplishment is made possible by the incredible work done by the UGA poultry science department faculty, staff and students, who for years have made this program a powerful resource to our poultry producers. To secure that continued success, our state and this university have invested in this new facility that will serve as a home to cutting-edge advancements for both agriculture and poultry science.”