Foster Farms unveiled a state of the art poultry house at Fresno State Monday. The new building is sure to strengthen the school's prestigious agriculture program.
It is unique because it is certified through the American Humane Association. The designation makes it the first of its kind on an American college campus.
Inside the 16,000 sq. ft facility are 20,000 chicks which are just three days old.
“This building will allow us to be at the cutting edge in terms of our educational programs as well as provide much needed research to sustain the industry into the future,” said Dr. Charles Boyer, Dean of the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology.
Students get hands-on opportunities to study and raise the chickens to be sent off to market.
“For a student to learn the modern poultry industry in this house is fantastic,” said Bob O’Connor of Foster Farms.
All of the equipment inside the Foster Farms Education and Research Facility is run by computers.
“I was fascinated by how they get their water. The air conditioning and the air temperature and making sure their bodies stay warm, it's completely automated,” said Karen Ross, Secretary of the Calif. Dept. of Agriculture.
This type of environment is why it's certified through the American Humane Association. It basically means is that chickens raised there will be treated with kindness and compassion.
“We think it's good for our consumer, we think it's good for our organization and we're happy to be involved,” said Ron Foster, C.E.O. of Foster Farms.
Robin Ganzert says through partnerships like this, slowly but surely her group is making great strides toward improving animal welfare.
“There are 10-billion U.S. farm animals in production, so we're close to the 5% point thanks to consumers saying this is a core value that we share. So we have a long way to go, but we're getting there,” said Robin Ganzert of the American Humane Association.