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Aviagen pledges to strengthen Nicholas turkey business

by 5m Editor
8 February 2005, at 12:00am

GEORGIA - Aviagen has made a corporate pledge to strengthen its turkey business, Nicholas Turkey Breeding Farms, by positioning the company to draw from the data and technology established in Aviagen’s chicken business, according to Aviagen group vice president Ian Hamilton and Nicholas president Jihad Douglas.

Aviagen pledges to strengthen Nicholas turkey business - GEORGIA - Aviagen has made a corporate pledge to strengthen its turkey business, Nicholas Turkey Breeding Farms, by positioning the company to draw from the data and technology established in Aviagen’s chicken business, according to Aviagen group vice president Ian Hamilton and Nicholas president Jihad Douglas.

Nicholas Turkeys Now, following the acquisition of facilities and farms near Lewisburg, W.Va., Aviagen is making good on that commitment, told Feedstuffs during an interview at the International Poultry Exposition in Atlanta two weeks ago.

Nicholas, at its current headquarters in California’s Sonoma Valley, north of San Francisco, has been like a “standalone” company — most of a continent away from Aviagen’s global headquarters in Huntsville, Ala., and without working access to Aviagen’s knowledge and research base built through its Arbor Acres and Ross chicken programs — they said. This will change as Nicholas closes down in California and relocates to Lewisburg, they said.

The genetics and operations Aviagen has in chicken and its technology could likely not have been independently achieved by Nicholas in turkey in the Sonoma Valley, Hamilton said. However, in Lewisburg on the East Coast, where Aviagen’s portfolio is located, Nicholas “can draw from the Aviagen tool box,” he said.

The tool box contains what will be substantial investment in turkey genetics, research and development focused on the critical economic traits the industry requires, in customer relations and in people to provide Nicholas’s breeder customers and turkey growers and processors “new blood to move the turkey industry forward,” Hamilton said.

These investments will be the subject of the presentation at the Nicholas breakfast meeting at the National Turkey Federation’s annual convention this week. Lewisburg can tap ‘Aviagen model’ in science Aviagen bought the BUTA facilities and farms last fall when Merial closed its turkey genetics business in North America (Feedstuffs, Nov. 15, 2004).

Hamilton and Douglas said the Lewisburg site was attractive for numerous reasons, including its location, which is much nearer to not only Aviagen’s corporate headquarters but Nicholas’ customer base in the U.S. and Canada and which offers the biosecurity necessary for bird health and welfare.

They also said BUTA had excellent farm and hatchery employees, a majority of whom are being retained for the Nicholas operations.

Aviagen and Nicholas were already planning to relocate the turkey business to the East Coast, Hamilton and Douglas said, and would have acquired land to do so if the BUTA properties had not become available.

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Source: Feedstuffs - 7th February 2005

5m Editor