Mountaire funding new facility on DelVal campus

by | Jul 28, 2023

Phillip Plylar, left, president of Mountaire Farms, and Dr. Benjamin Rusiloski, president of Delaware Valley University, shake hands following Mountaire’s support of a new Poultry Science Center on the school’s main campus. (Photo courtesy Delaware Valley University)

DOYLESTOWN Pa. — Delaware Valley University recently announced that Mountaire Farms, Inc. has provided the cornerstone gift to fund a new Poultry Science Center on the school’s main campus.
According to the university, the purpose of the new center is to support the poultry industry by developing a diverse and highly-trained workforce with the skills and knowledge needed to move the industry forward in the 21st-century. 
The Mountaire agricultural food production and processing companies employ more than 10,000 people at facilities in Arkansas, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina.
Mountaire Farms is now the fourth largest chicken company in the United States.
“We are excited about the opportunity to work directly with Delaware Valley University to ensure that the poultry industry will have a well-educated and trained workforce moving forward,” said Phillip Plylar, president of Mountaire Farms, Inc. 
Growth in the poultry industry has resulted in an increased demand for students educated in poultry science, the company said.
Leaders within the industry have identified difficulties in filling critical roles within their operations, from mid-management positions to professionals in food safety, marketing, supply chain practices and more. 
Despite the growth in the poultry industry and the need for a college-educated work force, there are only six stand-alone poultry science departments in the United States.
The new center will provide hands-on learning through DelVal’s award winning experiential learning program, Experience360, the university said in a news release.
“DelVal was founded more than 125 years ago on the premise of experiential education, or learning by doing,” said Dr. Benjamin Rusiloski, President of Delaware Valley University. “Regardless of the major, our students learn the science and practice in their field of study. The relationship with Mountaire Farms will also provide additional internship opportunities for our students to prepare for success upon graduation.”  
“Animal science students at DelVal work directly with animals from year one of their studies,” said  Dr. Broc Sandelin, dean of the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. “We will be launching a new minor in poultry science focused on preparing students with the management and practical skills needed for success in this growing industry.
The new state-of-the-art facility will provide the opportunity for hands-on education in all stages of poultry production as well as providing space for industry driven research projects and potential testing of new poultry products and equipment coming to the market.
Both DelVal and Mountaire Farms are engaged in the global One Health initiative, a multi-disciplinary approach that works locally, regionally, nationally, and globally to attain optimal well-being for people and society, the environment and plants, and animals.
These shared values are one example of the way the two entities will work together. 

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