FAYETTEVILLE — French animal feed company Adisseo has endowed a professorship and funded three poultry science research projects for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
Michael Kidd, professor of poultry nutrition, was named to the Adisseo Endowed Professorship in Global Sustainable Poultry Nutrition, a news release from the university system’s Division of Agriculture said Tuesday. Adisseo also provided grants to fund three research projects with the division’s Center of Excellence for Poultry Science.
The endowed position is a research professorship in the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, the division’s research arm. Endowed professorships are paid for with revenue from an endowment fund established by donors. Typically, these positions are designated to be in a certain department. Pay for the poultry research professorship was not disclosed in the news release.
In prepared remarks, Kidd said he was honored to be chosen and grateful for Adisseo’s support. He was unavailable for comment as of Wednesday evening.
“This professorship encompasses a broad view of poultry nutrition,” he said. “There are major challenges in feeding a growing world population, and this endowment takes a global view of sustainability in the poultry industry.”
Meat companies including Perdue Farms and Tyson Foods have their eyes peeled for innovations in food nutrition. Demand has grown in recent years for products free of antibiotics, according to Consumer Reports. A survey of more than 1,000 people found that 43% say they always or often buy meat raised without antibiotics. Companies are also seeking ways to make raising birds more efficient, using less feed and less water.
“We need everyone working on a different piece of the broader puzzle to get it done,” Kidd said. The endowed professorship is unique in that it is not tied to a specific project, but an entire program. “It allows flexibility for research, and also for teaching because graduate students will be involved in the research,” he said.
A partnership between Adisseo and the Arkansas system’s division of agriculture was established in the fall of 2018, opening up research opportunities for both parties.
An agreement was signed by Mark Cochran, vice president of agriculture for the university system’s division of agriculture, and Stefan Jakob, a director of nutritional research at Adisseo. A second agreement to expand their research was signed in February of last year. The professorship has been vacant until now.
“We consider this partnership a cornerstone in our research and innovation programs, which contribute strongly to Adisseo’s vision of feeding the planet in a qualitative, affordable, safe and sustainable way,” Jakob said in a statement Tuesday.
Adisseo, one of the biggest manufacturers of animal feed additives, was founded in 1939. It was acquired in 2006 by China National BlueStar (Group) Co. Ltd., a chemical company focused on new materials and animal nutrition.
The feed company is interested in poultry nutrition and health research but did not provide parameters for what it wanted from candidates, said Fred Miller, a spokesman for the university’s division of agriculture. Adisseo chose the proposals to be funded from an array of applicants.
Kidd’s research involves work with amino acids, energy, minerals and vitamins for commercial poultry. Kidd had led the university system’s poultry department since 2010. He stepped down in October to join faculty.
The grants were awarded to projects led by researchers Walter Bottje, professor of poultry physiology; Byungwhi Kong, professor of poultry functional genomics and molecular virology; and Sami Dridi, professor of avian endocrinology and molecular genetics.
Research by graduate students in the University of Arkansas’ Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences is done within the Agricultural Experiment Station’s research programs.
When the initial agreement was signed, Jean Francois Meullenet, director of the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, said the company was donating $1 million to fund the professorship.
Business on 03/05/2020
Print Headline: Funding to back poultry research