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New livestock and poultry facilities at Virginia Tech help grow agriculture

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Image courtesy of Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences recently finished $31 million of construction on a series of new and renovated buildings around its Blacksburg campus that serves the Commonwealth’s largest private industry – agriculture.

The buildings are part of the newly formed School of Animal Sciences, which merged the departments of Animal and Poultry Sciences and Dairy Science into one cohesive unit.

“We are extremely grateful for the Commonwealth of Virginia’s support of Agency 229, which helps bolster some of the most vital industries in the state,” said Alan Grant, dean of the college who recently spoke before the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors to give a construction update.

The series of buildings have been under a multiphase construction project that includes a new swine research and education center and new buildings and upgraded facilities for the beef cattle and equine programs. A second phase of construction is under way to make other upgrades and refurbishments to other livestock buildings around campus.

Some of the new buildings include:

  • Swine center: The new 24,000-square-foot, $5.6 million center at Kentland Farm houses a small-scale swine production and research facility, classrooms, boar housing and gestation facilities, and rooms for farrowing, nursery, and finishing.
  • Beef nutrition and physiology facility and feed storage facility at Kentland Farm: This 24,000-square-foot, $3.8 million cattle housing facility and accompanying storage facility includes a 20-stall cattle housing area for feed studies, loading chutes, a feed mixing room, laboratory space, four grain bins, four covered bulk commodity bins, and a three-sided hay shed.
  • Broiler and turkey facilities: These small-scale research facilities include pens, work areas, and feed storage. The two facilities total more than 21,000 square feet and are valued at more than $5 million.
  • Equine and storage facility: These two buildings valued at more than $2.5 million have more than 18,000 square feet of room and include a 29-stall horse barn with tack rooms, wash stalls, groom stalls, manure storage, locker rooms, and both heated and unheated storage rooms.

The new state-of-the-art buildings will help maximize the impact of the new school, according to a news release. Research conducted at these facilities supports the industry in Virginia and across the country. In addition, these facilities provide venues for hands-on, experiential learning.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.