Starting in June of 2018, Walpole’s pedigree program has expanded in all current farm locations. The planned pedigree growth continues in 2020 and through 2021 to include the construction of new poultry houses on existing farms, the complete renovation of the ‘Pleasant Valley’ farm (including new state-of-the-art housing) and the purchase of a new grow-out farm, aptly named the ‘Centennial’ farm in recognition of Hubbard’s 100th anniversary in 2021.
Diane Myers Miller will retire at the end of the year 2020 after spending more than 40 years at Hubbard. Diane’s successor is Lucas Harrington who comes from Arkansas and has degrees in Animal Science and a poultry husbandry background.
When Hubbard became part of the Aviagen Group in 2018, it was immediately decided to upgrade and expand the R&D facilities to ensure continued genetic gains needed to meet the worldwide poultry industry demands. To facilitate the growth and accuracy of the expansion pedigree program Hubbard hired geneticist Dez Ann Sutherland.
The initial renovations to existing R&D poultry houses started in June 2018 and were completed in October 2019. Current plans for new feed conversion housing and two new grow-out farms are in the final planning stages. The two new grow-out farms will allow for lifetime feed conversion ( LFCR) and CT scan measures on the Hubbard pedigree lines. The additional work on these lines will provide all the genetic backdrop for the growing demand of the Hubbard Efficiency Plus females mated with the M77 and M99 males.
The Walpole pedigree hatchery expansion plans have begun including doubling the size of the existing hatchery and the installation of the latest hatchery equipment. The first hatch is planned for October 2020 and full completion of this project is scheduled for late December 2020.
Also the laboratory is undergoing a thorough renovation as more stringent testing is required as Hubbard has embarked on an exciting genomics project on all pedigree lines. For the additional testing and to have full National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) certification, Hubbard has added key personnel to its laboratory staff: Christopher Malcom and Korin Albert.
As facility expansion also requires additional personnel for the operation, several new employees have joined the Hubbard team during the past 12 months: Trevor Beaudry, Ingrid Kuhlka and Charles Susick. The overall need for employees has led to a fourfold increase in new employees and with the new Centennial farm coming on line in 2021 this will be increased significantly.