People who visit an upcoming West Virginia University open house can learn how the turkey they had for the holidays arrived safely in the grocery store.

WVU’s Wardensville Farm Unit will host an open house of its Turkey Research Facility from 2-5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 5.

The Division of Animal and Nutritional Sciences in WVU’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design has partnered with the Virginia Poultry Growers Cooperative to conduct poultry research trials at the renovated facility. The initial trial is designed to evaluate breed performance and phosphorus utilization.

The facility has the capacity for 1,280 birds per cycle in a 16-pen layout. The first birds were placed June 23 to initiate the partnership agreement.

The objective of the partnership is to jointly determine the priority research needs of the industry that can be addressed based on the facilities and expertise of WVU faculty and staff. The Davis College is optimistic that this will be a productive relationship, providing valuable research outcomes to the industry while supporting the educational experience of WVU faculty, staff and graduate students. The research technical representatives for this partnership will be Joe Moritz for WVU and Mike Lilburn for cooperative.

The state-of-the-art research facility was made possible by funding from the West Virginia State Legislature. The project included a total cost of renovation of approximately $125,000.

The facility is the result a long process completed in part because of the persistence of Steve Conrad, a West Virginia turkey producer and chairman of the cooperative’s board, and the hard work and dedication of the Wardensville farm staff, David Workman and Moritz; cooperative field staff including Danny Wilburn and Brian Branson; along with the technical support of Poultry Specialties and Chore Time representatives.

The open house is free and open to the public and will begin with a formal presentation at 2 p.m. followed by tours of the facility. The 996-acre farm is located two miles north of Wardensville in Hardy County.



CONTACT: News and Information Services