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AP&EA P.O. Box 240 Montgomery, AL 36101 Address Service Requested

March / April 2018 Vol. 13 No. 2

Board of Directors

Officers Kenneth Sanders President, Brundidge* Mitchell Pate, Vice President, Auburn* Jason Spann, Treasurer, Hanceville* Jason Shell, Secretary, Huntsville* Harold Hunt, Immediate Past President, Gadsden*

Directors Greg Abercrombie, Valhermoso Springs Johnny Adcock, Woodland Lou Ayers, Jasper Randy Caudill, Guntersville Dale Gambrill, Cullman Jarrod Goodman, Snead Ben Gore, Cullman Lane Holladay, Tyler Tim Holmes, Decatur Casey Jones, Hoover* Clint Lauderdale, Hanceville Neil Martin, Dothan David Massey, Enterprise Kevin McDaniel, Huntsville Dr. Shannon Morgan, Huntsville Shaun Morris, Eufaula Mike Pigg, Montgomery John Pittard, Guntersville John Roberts, Cullman Keith Rhodarmer, Collinsville Eric Rotermund, Decatur Roddy Sanders, Gordo Steve Smith, Hanceville Rod Thomas, Montgomery Ryan Turner, Guntersville Stanley Usery, Athens* Brad Williams, Troy Len Windham, Ariton Advisors Vernon Abney, Auburn Dr. Don Conner, Auburn University James Donald, Auburn University Dr. Joe Hess, Auburn University Jacob Davis, Montgomery Dr. Tony Frazier, Montgomery *Executive Committee Members


Johnny Adams – Chief Executive Officer Wanda H. Linker – Administrative Director Ray Hilburn – Associate Director Huck Carroll – Communications Director/Editor Jennifer Shell – Support Director

Alabama Poultry Magazine is published by the Alabama Poultry & Egg Association 465 South Bainbridge Street Montgomery, AL 36104 Phone: 334-265-2732 Fax: 334-265-0008

Send editorial and advertising correspondence to: Alabama Poultry Magazine Editor P.O. Box 240 Montgomery, AL 36101

Advertising rates and closing dates available upon request.

Editorial matter from sources outside AP&EA is sometimes presented for the information and interest of our members. Such material may or may not coincide with official AP&EA policy. Publication does not necessarily imply endorsement by AP&EA.

w w w. a l a b a m a p o u l t r y. o r g

President’s Message

Over the past year, many of you have heard me say, “This is the best non-paying job that I have ever had,” meaning my job as president of the Alabama Poultry & Egg Association. I have gotten to travel all over the state, mostly riding with Ray Hilburn, which is a treat in itself, attending county association meetings. I have made new friends and heard the voices of producers and industry folks. It has always been my goal to encourage growers to get more involved with the association. It is especially important for the younger growers to get involved. We need their input, because one day they will be the leaders of our great industry. I am very grateful to the staff for their outstanding work over the past year. They have made my tenure in office very pleasant. Wanda and Jennifer have kept me up-to-date on what is happening and Ray has worked so diligently on so many issues. On our travels together, even late at night, our conversations have always been stimulating. Huck does a great job with our magazine and Facebook page. Johnny continues to amaze me with his legislative skill. Time-andtime again, even with tight budgets, he continues to find ways to fund the CAFO program. Working the political process truly takes someone of exceptional patience, and I salute him for that. He has also had a major hand in the development of the Miller Center at Auburn University. I want to urge you to consider purchasing one of our association automobile tags, I have one on each of my vehicles. It is tax deductible and the proceeds go to providing scholarships for deserving poultry science students at Auburn. I also want to urge you to purchase tickets for our annual Evening of Fun, it is sure to be a hit for your family. My family and I always look forward to hearing the FFA string bands perform. Those incredible young musicians do a fantastic job every year. I look forward to seeing you all there.

Featuring This Issue

Buying a Poultry Farm AP&EA Annual Meeting Evening of Fun Association News Grower Profile: Daniel Collier Industry News Practical Applications Calendar of Events

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Financial Planning

Purchasing A Poultry Farm

Part 2 of a 3 part series By Beth Gardner, VP/Ag Loan Officer – FFB Ag Finance, Enterprise, Alabama

Looking to purchase a poultry farm?

There are many things to consider before you decide. Not every farm is a good fit for every buyer. Gathering as much information as possible will help with your decision-making process. Here are five tips to help guide you:

1.Start with online searches. Even if you plan to purchase a farm nearby, looking at poultry farms for sale statewide can be helpful. Notice how much farms are being listed for versus their annual income. Also, look at the year the poultry houses were built, acreage, and extra features such as residential dwelling, barns, sheds, etc. Do any of the farms require updates to equipment or buildings? Updates can affect the value of the farm as well as determine whether or not the project will cash flow. Sometimes, a large amount of acreage or other ‘extras’ are hard to pay for with poultry income alone. Try to look at recently sold farms


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also. A little research on the front end will help when it comes time to make an offer or choose the right size farm that’s feasible for your situation.

2. Ask the locals Live in an area with existing poultry farms? Ask around and you can learn a lot about farm values, cost to build, cost of updates, expenses, along with how integrators and lenders interact with poultry farmers. Talk to levelheaded people who have experience and knowledge about the poultry industry in your area. Visit a friend or neighbor’s farm to get an explanation of what to look for when purchasing yours. Note the condition of roofs, trusses, equipment, etc. Learn about current updates and retrofit requirements by integrators and how they are customarily performed. Always practice applicable biosecurity procedures when visiting farms.

3. Consider the age of the poultry houses. Both lenders and integrators are concerned with the age of the operation. Contact lenders to learn the maximum number of years they will finance a specific farm. Ask the integrator how

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much longer they estimate keeping a contract on the farm. Is the poultry company requiring updates? Will these extend the life of the poultry houses? Is it difficult to obtain insurance due to the age of the houses? While obeying biosecurity measures, make more than one visit to a potential farm and consider the condition of each piece of the operation. Write down, research, and discuss any concerns with the realtor, seller and/or poultry company representative.

4. Study the cash flow of the farm. Cash flow is all income coming in and all expenses going out, along with considerations for any loan payments. Ask lenders for projected cash flow and ask questions for a better understanding of what those numbers mean. Study the seller’s annual income/expenses and compare it to the poultry integrator’s estimates. Question any differences. Some types of poultry operations have more gross income than others but also have more expenses. Keep in mind that lenders will analyze the farm cash flow, but they will also examine a separate cash flow with your current debts, living expenses, and other income included.

5. Take a look at the location. This really works better for people who aren’t tied to a specific state or part of a state when searching for a poultry farm. Is there more than one poultry integrator in the area? Is the farm close to the poultry integrator’s facilities? Construction and update costs can vary state to state and even within one state. The same goes for operating expenses. Some areas have more costly electricity, gas, property taxes, and farm insurance. Additionally, consider if there is room for expansion. Is the poultry integrator interested in future expansion? Conclusion With so many things to consider, finding a poultry farm to purchase can take time and perseverance. Although the information above is not an all-inclusive list, it will give you a good start. Keep a small notebook during the process and write down any

questions/findings along the way. You may want to consider hiring a trusted expert in the poultry field if needed for consultation. Your decision to enter the poultry business can be made much easier once you’ve done your research and gathered information from those who know the industry best.

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Beth Gardner has 25 years of banking experience. Located in Enterprise, Alabama, she can be reached at or by calling 1-866347-9944. First Financial Ag Finance is an Equal Housing Lender.

March / April 2018


Evening of Fun

Left to Right: Jon Shotts, 11th grade, Ethan Winchester, 8th grade, Codey Cleveland, 10th grade, Emily Enis, 8th grade, Myah Jackson, 10th grade, Bailey Bolton, 10th grade, Briley Mills, 10th grade, John Cason Myrick, 8th grade, and Brady Collum, 10th grade.

The award-winning Red Bay FFA String Band will open the AP&EA Evening of Fun Concert this year. You can hear these talented young musicians perform hits like Folsom Prison Blues, Cam’s hit Burning House, Sweet Home Alabama and more of your favorites. The doors open at 6:00 pm. and you can see them onstage in the Concert Hall of the BJCC, starting at 6:15 pm. The program will begin at 6:45, and the Swon Brothers will come on at 7:15, with Cam coming on at 8:15. The dance will begin at 9:30 pm., in the Sheraton Ballroom. Remember, kids 18 and under get in free with a paid This year the Evening of Fun concert will be held in the Concert Hall of the Birmingha-Jefferson Convention Complex. adult. So, get your tickets today!

EPA’s Trey Glenn and ADEM’s Lance LeFleur to Headline Evening of Fun Grower Seminar

The 2018 “Evening of Fun” will kick off with the grower meeting at 4:00 p.m. at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel in the Birmingham Ballroom. Stan Usery, Grower Committee chairman, will welcome everyone and then we will get down to business by electing two grower directors for the next two years. Next on the agenda will be the recognition of the 2018 Alabama Poultry Farm Family of the Year, which is always the highlight of the evening. This is quite an honor to be selected from the many outstanding nominees


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that we receive each year. We should be there to congratulate them on this outstanding accomplishment and thank them for what they do for our poultry industry. We are blessed to have two outstanding and respected government servants to speak this year at the grower seminar. Trey Glen, regional administrator, Region 4 for EPA, will discuss EPA’s role with the poultry industry in Alabama. Lance LeFleur, director of Alabama Department of Environmental Management, will discus ADEM’s role. There will be a sign-up sheet avail-

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able in the room for those wanting CAFO continuing education credit. Next on the agenda will be the exciting presentation of door prizes. Each farm will be given one ticket as they enter the meeting which makes them eligible for the drawing of five $100 bills. This is worth the trip to Birmingham by itself. A meal will be served at the close of the meeting and then it is off to the concert. Don’t forget that growers get tickets for $100 each, which is half the regular price and anyone 18 and under gets in free with a paid adult. What a great start to the 2018 Evening of Fun.

Association Business

AP&EA Holds Spring Board of Directors Meeting

The AP&EA spring board of directors meeting was held on Wed., April 4. Association President Kenneth Sanders called the meeting to order, and made a brief opening statement. He expressed his pleasure at serving as association president, and especially visiting the local associations around the state. “I have been trying to promote our association,” he said. “As our membership gets younger, we have an opportunity to get our members more active.” Dr. Gary Lemme presented the Alabama Cooperative Extension System report. He presented a well documented analysis of the positive economic impact of the construction of one poultry house in Alabama. That analysis is available on our website: Casey Jones reported on the activities of the Allied Committee, including the smoked chicken sale, the proceeds of which go towards the 2+2 Poultry Program scholarships. Grower Committee Chairman Stan Usery reported that he was trying to follow-up on the good work that Kenneth Sanders had begun in south Alabama by developing county organizations in north Alabama. Mitchell Pate, of the Auburn Facilities Committee, reported that work on the Miller Center Visitor Center was progressing well and that it should be

online by the middle of May. “It is going to be a beautiful building, beyond my expectations,” He said. It will feature classrooms, meeting rooms and support facilities. AP&EA CEO Johnny Adams, who has been working with the designers, spoke about the Alabama Poultry Hall of Fame display that will be featured immediately on entering the building. “It is going to be a great display and a place where we can finally honor those who have contributed so much to our industry,” Adams said. “We will continue to raise money for the display to possibly add interactive features.” Dr. Joe Hess of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System reported that with the success of the 4H Chick Chain program, there was a proposal to develop a broiler program for 4H. He asked the board for comments. Next on the program, Alabama State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Frazier introduced Dr. Heather Walz. Dr. Walz will be the new head of the Alabama State Diagnostic Lab in Auburn. Dr. Frazier also talked about the USDA’s new response to events such as last year’s low path AI outbreak in terms of indemnification. Dr. Don Conner, head of the Auburn University department of poultry science, thanked the association for its continued support. He announced

that Jason Spann of American Proteins had been named Auburn University department of poultry science’s outstanding alumni for 2018. Conner reported that Auburn’s new president, Dr. Steven Leath, a plant pathologist by education and training, has a strong agricultural research background and a desire to see things get done in a timely manor. Under his direction, a task force has been put together to develop a time line to fully build out the Miller Center. Conner expressed optimism over the progress. Jacob Davis presented the department of education report. He stressed the continuing effort to find qualified agriscience teachers. Of the 23 new ag teachers in the state, he reported that only nine are certified, with the remaining 14 having some form of alternative certification. The biosystems engineering report was presented by Dr. Gene Simpson of the National Poultry Technology Center. He said that since moving into their new facility at the Miller Center last May, they have conducted seven major workshops for industry personnel. AP&EA CEO Johnny Adams reported on the legislative session, saying, “Our goal for this year was full CAFO funding, so producers would not have to pay those fees out of pocket. We were successful.”

Two AP&EA Board Members Named College of Ag Outstanding Alumni of 2018 As a part of the 2018 Auburn University College of Agriculture outstanding alumni awards, the department of poultry science named Jason Spann as its oustanding alumnus. The department of agricultural economics & rural sociology named Mike Pigg. Jason Spann (BS poultry science ‘95) gained experience in all aspects of the poultry industry in the first decade and a half of his career, rapidly progressing through a series of management positions with Gold Kist Inc. and Pilgrim’s. In 2011, he Joined American Proteins Inc., one of the


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largest poultry-byproduct-recycling facilities in the world, as general manager of its Hanceville division and continues in that role today. He has maintained a close connection to his undergraduate department through the years, not only in recruiting, mentoring and supporting poultry science majors, but also in advising faculty and staff on technical issues, collaborating on applied research and assisting the department in managing its poultry byproducts. Mike Pigg (BS agricultural economics ‘79) has been helping improve the quality of life for Alabama farmers

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and rural residents throughout his 39year career with First South Farm Credit. He joined First South as a loan officer trainee in its Montgomery branch shortly after receiving his degree and from there rose to positions as a branch manager and a regional and district vice president at locations primarily in the Decatur area. In 2016, he was named president of the lending instutution’s Montgomery-base Alabama operations, which include 16 brancehes, 95 employees and $1.1 billion in assets. Congratulations, to both men!

Association Meetings in Randolph and Clay Counties

Robert Page, CPA, REA, Farm & Agribusiness Management Team, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, was the keynote speaker at both the Randolph County Poultry & Egg Association meeting on April 5, and the Clay County Poultry & Egg Association meeting on April 10. He presented a very informative outlook on record keeping and tax preparation. He discussed the various means of tax record keeping employed by some farmers – from a shoebox filled with receipts to the latest in computer software. He also promised to personally help any individual farmer set up an efficient farm accounting system. The Randolph County meeting was held at the ALFA Building in downtown Wedowee. Also speaking was AP&EA President Kenneth Sanders and Chad Key, SunSouth, Carrollton, Ga. The meeting and meal was sponsored by First South Farm Credit of Oxford, Alabama Farm Credit of Talladega, and SunSouth. The Clay County meeting was held at Miss Anita’s Cafe in Lineville. The meeting and meal were sponsored by First South Farm Credit of Oxford and Alabama Farm Credit of Talladega.

Kenneth Sanders

Chad Key

AP&EA Participates In Career Expos Around the State

Oxford WOW

The big AP&EA chicken has been seen around the state in the last few months at various career events for Alabama students. Our first event was the Worlds of Work in Oxford on March 13-14. We visited with more than 7,000 students from Calhoun County and surrounding counties. The next event put us in the Agri Business Center in Oneonta for the


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New Brockton

Blount County Career Expo. We got to visit with hundreds of high school students from around poultry rich Blount County. For the Coffee County College & Career Expo at the Farm Center in New Brockton, we visited with high school juniors and seniors. It was a great opportunity to promote the 2+2 Poultry Program ant Wallace Community College Dothan.

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Shaun Morris

On April 27, Wallace Community College Dothan held a Poultry Science Expo for more than 100 area students who had expressed an interest in the 2+2 Poultry Program. Speakers included: Shaun Morris, complex manager, Keystone Foods; Ray Hilburn, AP&EA; Wallace Community College President Dr. Linda Young: and Dr. Don Conner, department of poultry science. Auburn University.

Alabama Poultry Magazine

March / April 2018


Grower Profile

At home in Ozark, the Colliers: (Top row) Christian, Daniel and Tammy. (Seated) Roman, the dog, Harrison and Parker. (Far right) Daniel’s baseball card from his rookie season.

Daniel Collier didn’t grow up wanting to be a professional baseball player. He played little league and some American Legion Baseball, but it was never his dream. His dream was to be a quarterback for the University of Alabama, so he played quarterback at Carroll High School in Ozark. Bigger, stronger and faster that most everyone else on the team, he was the star. But Carroll didn’t put any emphasis on passing, so he knew he probably wouldn’t get a scholarship offer at Alabama. In the spring of his senior year of high school, Carroll High School got a new baseball coach. The coach took one


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look at Daniel and asked him to play. With his natural athleticism, Daniel had no problem getting back into the game that he hadn’t played in years. The ball started flying off the bat as he began to develop some power. His speed in the outfield and strong arm made him a threat to opposition baserunners. It wasn’t long before some colleges took notice and the scholarship offers came in. He accepted a scholarship to Enterprise Junior College, that way he could stay close to home, while pursuing a pre-med curriculum. His first year wasn’t exactly memorable, he was sidelined

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by mono and didn’t play an inning of baseball. However, with the new season, his talent began to blossom. It was a road trip to Florida that changed his world. They were going to play a Florida junior college team with a hot pitcher who was being scouted by several pro teams. Before batting practice, Daniel’s coach pulled him aside. He told him to hold nothing back at batting practice. Daniel went out and did exactly what his coach had told him. With baseballs flying out of the park, his delighted father, who had accompanied the team on the road trip,

felt a man tap him on his arm. The man introduced himself as a professional scout, he said, “Your son is alright, he’s got a major league swing.” During the game, the hot pitching prospect walked Daniel three time. The fourth time Daniel came up to the plate, there were men on base, so he had to pitch to him. Daniel took him deep for a base clearing homerun, and a dream was born. Back in Ozark, another dream was starting to take shape, but, for Daniel, it was just a dream and nothing more. There was this young vivacious diminutive lady, a broadcast journalism major, who was doing some write-up work with the team. Her name was Tammy Parker, and Daniel says, “She was the prettiest girl there.” But, there was one problem, despite her popularity, she had one inviolable rule – she did not date baseball players. Consequently, the baseball team collectively fell in love with her, but from a distance. She was the first person that they all looked for at the student center. Many ball players tried to change her mind, but she remained resolute. But, Daniel was the one who knew that she was the one. Daniel was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 1991 June draft. He was their 10th selection. So, in late March of 1992, he left for spring training in Florida. He did well, but injured his shoulder, requiring surgery. Back home, while awaiting surgery in Boston, he attended a friend’s get-together. He was busy chatting with some friends when – he saw her walk in. He was, in his own words, “Like, wow!” She saw him and came over. “How long have you been in town?” she asked. “About a month,” he stammered. “Why haven’t you called me?” It was a question that hung in the air like a change-of-pace pitch after a series of blazing fastballs, tempting, beguiling. Frustrating! He had in-fact called several times, but she hadn’t been home. “I’ll call,” he managed to get out.


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As she walked away, Daniel swears he heard her say, under her breath, “Jerk.” She denies it. He did call her. The conversation lasted for 10 hours. He called her again from his hotel room in Boston on the eve of his first shoulder surgery. The phone bill was enormous, but that was okay, because he just had to convince her to date a baseball player. It was a wise investment. In January of 1993, they were married. When spring training came, Tammy went with him. She says of their time in baseball, “It was like an extended honeymoon.” They became a part of an extended family that included the players, wives and girlfriends. After every game they would get together to eat, sometimes at restaurants in the towns where they were playing or sometimes there would be spreads in the locker room. Even after the birth of their first son, Harrison, they traveled together, making some great friends, players like Roger Clemens, Mickey Tettleton, Troy Nixon and Nomar Garciaparra. In 1993, Daniel was traded to the Texas Rangers’ organization. He had his best year in 1997, playing for the Tulsa Drillers. That year he hit 26 home runs, hitting seven in consecutive games. That year, he also had the third labrum surgery on his right shoulder, and a career that had begun with such promise was over. He and Tammy had bought a home in Ozark the year after they were married. This was always their home base, and it is where they would come after baseball season was over. Now, they came back after his baseball career was over. Tammy says, “When baseball was over, there were a lot of dark days. He was down, as far as direction, as he had ever been in his life. I told him, I don’t date baseball players, and I didn’t fall in love with a baseball player, I fell in love

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with Daniel Collier.” “Many players are able to play well past their prime, “Daniel says,” but they don’t see it as a blessing. They resent the struggle, because it’s all that they have.” He goes on,” I was blessed just to have that time.” Daniel loved pursuing his dream, the dream that had first begun on that road game in Florida. They both loved the lifestyle, “It was a constant vacation and I got to play baseball. Daniel says, “Giving up baseball, next to the death of my father, was the toughest thing I have had to endure.” It was Daniel’s father who passed on his faith to Daniel. It was faith in God that Daniel credits with sustaining him through times of great testing. “My father,” he says, “read the Bible every day and talked about spiritual things constantly.” He also challenged Daniel to read the Bible. It helped Daniel to develop a philosophy of life, “Do the best you can and trust God with the results.” After baseball, they came back home, and Daniel went to accounting school, but that was far too confining for someone who had spent most of his life on open sunlit playing fields. While Daniel had been playing baseball, Tammy had gotten her degree from Troy in broadcasting. She took a job selling pharmaceuticals, and Daniel began selling orthopedic devices. He stayed away from baseball, it was just too painful. But, with three growing athletic sons who needed coaching, he just had to get back to the diamond. It was at the ball field where Daniel first got interested in the poultry business. His middle son, Christian, was

playing American Legion Baseball with Matthew Warren, the son of Daron Warren, broiler manager of Pilgrim’s Enterprise. Daniel, at that time, was coaching youth baseball and selling orthopedic implants, but was open to new ideas. He and Daron began to talk about the poultry business. Daniel told him that he had some land and that he would one day love to farm. However, the conversation didn’t go anywhere for a long time. In 2014, Daniel received a call from Daron – if he was still interested, Pilgrim’s wanted to talk. They talked, and it wasn’t long before Daniel had four 66’ x 600’ houses under construction. Daniel, who grows a 3.65 lb. bird, is high on Pilgrim’s. “The people I work with,” he says, “are really knowledgeable. I can always call them up and say, hey, I need this, or I’ve got a problem, they are there. I truly feel like my company cares about me and my success.” He is particularly complimentary of his service tech, Matthew Wilkerson, saying, “I’ve called him at 1 a.m. and he always responded, and that means a lot.” Tammy, who is only 4’11,” and incredibly vivacious, rarely ventures into the chicken houses. But, late one night, when an alarm went off in one of the houses, signaling a problem with one of the feed lines, she felt sorry for Daniel, having to go by himself to fix the problem. So, she decided to go with him. Still in her pajamas, she also decided to take their Doberman, Roman, in the car with them (Roman, of course, is not allowed inside the chicken houses). At the house with the problem, they went inside. With the lights on inside the house, Tammy walked down one of the rows to check the feeder lines. Daniel had done the same in a different direction, but for some reason decided to go back into the control room. Suddenly, when he shut the control room door, the lights in the chicken house went out, leaving Tammy in total darkness. Forty feet down the row in the dark, in her pajamas, with chickens bedding down all around her, she was

afraid to move. After, what seemed to be a very long time and with growing fear of having been forgotten, she began to scream. Daniel, who swears he hadn’t forgotten her, was busy in the control room, and couldn’t hear her. Roman, however, heard her screams and began to bark and throw himself against the outer door of the control room, alerting Daniel, who promptly rescued Tammy. Even though he has apologized profusely, now when the alarm goes off at night, Daniel is on his own. She is looking forward to experiencing her first chick dump now that she has retired from her pharmaceutical sales career. She says that she never was around when the chicks came in because she was always up early to cover her territory, which was north from Montgomery, and late coming in at night. They have three sons. Harrison, the oldest, is in the 2+2 poultry science curriculum at Wallace Community College in Dothan. Christian, who is in high school, wants to be a professional athlete; he also does some modeling. Parker, the youngest, is also in high school. He wants to do something in media, perhaps even sports journalism. Daniel, Tammy and the boys are all active in their church, Ozark Baptist, and in the

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community. Daniel knows the fragility of dreams. Some are based on the strength and agility of youth. Those fade with injury and age. Others like love, hard work, building a future and helping others only grow stronger with time. Those are the dreams that Daniel Collier cherishes the most. An optimist, his life philosophy is pretty simple, “You don’t really know where your next chapter in life is coming from, sometimes things are difficult, but you can always have faith that if your heart is right and you work hard, good things will happen.”

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Industry News

Alabama Equipment Company Supports Poultry Research at Auburn

A $500,000 gift to Auburn University’s College of Agriculture from Crossville, Alabama–based D&F Equipment Sales Inc. and its founding Fortenberry family will support ongoing development of the Charles C. Miller Jr. Poultry Research and Education Center, located at the north Auburn campus. Larry Fortenberry, company founder and co-owner, urged other national poultry-related operations to support the project as well because Auburn’s comprehensive poultry research and education facility is important for the whole poultry industry. “The Miller Center is going to greatly advance the poultry industry worldwide,” Fortenberry said. “Poultry has been good to me and to my family and to many other families. I challenge everyone in the U.S. poultry industry to give back to our industry by supporting Auburn’s efforts to build a world-class poultry research center.”

Specifically, the Fortenberry gift will help fund construction of a stateof-the-art poultry research and educational processing plant that will facilitate efforts related to processing efficiency, animal welfare, food safety and quality, and value-added product development. “We greatly appreciate the Fortenberry family’s generous gift and longstanding support of our efforts to build the nation’s premier poultry research and education center,” said Dr. Don Conner, head of Auburn’s Department of Poultry Science. “The Fortenberry family has a demonstrated record of generosity to our program that includes scholarship gifts, donated materials and shared industry expertise. We value our continued partnership with them.”

Groundbreaking for the processing plant is tentatively set for fall 2018, pending approval by the Auburn Board of Trustees as part of phase three of the 30-acre Miller Center. The plant will be the sixth building constructed at the center, with an additional 14 buildings currently planned. “It’s going to be world-renowned,” Fortenberry said of the Miller Center. “People will be coming to Auburn from all over the world to study the poultry industry. “Auburn has thanked us for our donation, but we thank them for their efforts. It’s an honor for my family to give to this project.”

Peco Foods to Invest $40 Million in West Point, Miss.

JACKSON, Miss. Peco Foods, the nation’s 8th largest poultry producer, is opening new operations in West Point, Miss. According to an announcement by Peco CEO Mark Hickman, the company is investing $40 million in the project that will create 300 new jobs in the Golden Triangle over the next four years. Peco is acquiring the 185,000 square-foot warehouse formerly occupied by AmeriCold and strategically located on 37 acres near interstate and major rail corridors. The West Point location will provide freezer, cooler and storage space to enable the company to serve its large and diverse customer base.


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One of the top poultry companies in North America, Peco supplies a broad range of products and services to national restaurant chains, regional food service distributors and retail grocers as well as international accounts. Headquartered in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Peco has more than 6,000 total employees and is responsible for more than 3,600 jobs in the state of Mississippi. “The addition of the West Point facility to the Peco Foods’ portfolio and the creation of so many new jobs for the people of the Golden Triangle Region demonstrate how existing companies in our state benefit from our productive workforce and prime location in the fastest growing region of the U.S.,” Gov. Phil Bryant said.

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In making the announcement, Mark Hickman said: “We are extremely pleased to join the dynamic and growing industrial environment in the Golden Triangle. We want to thank the Mississippi Development Authority and everyone on the GTR LINK team for helping bring this exciting project to completion. They are one of the premier regional development leaders in the South, and it has been a privilege to work with them throughout the process.” Hickman said Peco is making significant strategic investments to ensure the company’s ability to meet and surpass the expectations of the industry and its global customer base.”

Jim Donald opened the seminar

Jacob Petty, Atlantic Power Solutions, talked about generator maintenance

Dennis Brothers talked about the causes of catastrophic loss

Jeremiah Davis talked about cool pad care for efficiency

Don Chancy, Alabama Power Company, talked infrared photography

Jesse Campbell lead a discussion on water quality

NPTC Holds Second Hot Weather Seminar In New Miller Center Facility

With the summer months approaching, the National Poultry Technology Center at Auburn University hosted about 90 poultry managers and technicians April 25 for a hands-on training seminar on hot-weather housing, ventilation and equipment issues. This was the second Hot Weather Seminar held at the NPTC’s new equipment testing and evaluation house, the only facility in the nation dedicated solely to testing and refining equipment to improve poultry farming efficiency and profitability. The facility is located

at the new Charles C. Miller Jr. Poultry Research and Education Center, located north of Auburn’s main campus. “The ability to measure some of the environmental factors in poultry houses, such as humidity or fan RPMs (revolutions per minute), is valuable to bird growth and health, and those are factors we cannot guess at,” said Jim Donald, NPTC director. “A research and training facility like this enables technicians, managers and others in the industry to learn how these technologies work and to practice with them to see how they

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could improve their own operations.” Representatives of leading commercial poultry companies, such as Tyson, Pilgrims, Koch, Keystone, Ingram Farms and others, attended the technology center’s first training seminar. Donald said the NPTC plans to offer about six seminars a year on topics and technologies most relevant to poultry producers across the country. The April 25 seminar was conducted by the NPTC Team, Jess Campbell, Jeremiah Davis, Dennis Brothers, Gene Simpson and Jim Donald.

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Practical Applications

National Poultry Technology Center, Auburn University

Hot weather devastated the poultry industry in most parts of the United States last year. From Texas to Maryland and Kentucky to South Alabama no one escaped triple digit temperatures for days on end. Here at the NPTC our phone rang off the hook with questions from growers and managers looking for the magic bullet to stop rising mortalities and decreasing performance. In too many cases, after asking questions about the particular situation we found that there was no simple solution, and most of the steps we could recommend to cope with this problem were things that should have been done in April or May, not put off until July or August. After last summer, we all know how bad hot weather can get. We can hope that this summer won’t be so bad – but it would be foolish not to do everything we can reasonably do to be ready for another long, hot summer. Most of these steps are not hard to do and are not expensive. However, they must be done in advance. In other words, preventive maintenance is a must! Checklists are a great way to keep on track and set priorities on servicing equipment and houses. This article provides handy one-per-page checklists for preventive maintenance on the most critical parts of a poultry house environmental control system: Fans, Evaporative Cooling, Electrical Systems, and the Backup Generator. You can print and carry these checklists with you (or give to helpers), as well as post in convenient places in your office or your houses as both reminders and records to make sure your houses and equipment keep running smoothly.

Keys to Understanding the Challenge of Hot Weather Modern poultry house ventilation and evaporative cooling systems are designed to allow growing the maximum number of birds in a given house floor area. Extreme heat is a challenge to individual bird performance and survival, and extremely hot weather challenges our goal of maximizing live weight production. To maintain comfort, birds must be able to dissipate about 12 BTUs of heat per hour per pound of body weight. If the air temperature surrounding the birds is close to the desired temperature for comfort they will lose up to about 5 BTU’s per pound per hour from their body surface and lose about 7 BTUs per pound per hour through respiration or breathing. Under these conditions the heat balance of the bird is at equilibrium. They eat, drink, behave and grow normally. Problems arise if the surrounding air temperature increases above that normal level. Warmer air will not allow the transfer of the 5 BTUs per pound per hour from the bird’s body. When the bird’s ability to dissipate heat from its body’s surface is diminished due to warmer surrounding air, the bird must compensate by increasing its respiration rate through panting. Then, if surrounding air is so warm that the bird cannot adequately compensate by panting, its internal body temperature will rise, causing severe heat stress, and eventually mortality. The goal in hot weather is to keep the bird dissipating body heat so that panting does not result. The first and most important tool we have to keep the bird from panting is air velocity or wind speed. As we increase the velocity of the air over and around a bird, the wind-chill effect greatly helps the bird’s ability to shed surface body heat. Every broiler grower has seen this phenomenon over and over again. Birds mildly panting in still air quit panting when the house is put into tunnel ventilation. In extremely hot conditions, especially as

Continued on pg. 30 An unmistakable sign that this house will not meet the hot weather challenge. The poorly maintained and dirty shutter will restrict airflow, and the severely worn fan belt riding low in the pulley will result in lower fan rpm’s and thus lower wind-speed in the house. Conditions like these are not difficult or costly to remedy. Maintenance to correct ventilation and cooling system problems must not be put off until hot weather arrives


March / April 2018

Alabama Poultry Magazine

FAN MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST 1. DRIVES (PULLEYS AND BELTS) – The drives transmit power and provide the gear ratio between the motor speed and propeller speed. Anything that goes wrong with the drive system causes lost fan performance. Check belt tension – loose belts reduce the gear ratio, causing loss of airflow, and reduce belt life. Check belts for wear. Worn belts ride lower in the pulleys, changing the gear ratio and lowering fan performance. Check pulley alignment. Misaligned pulleys cause excessive belt wear and more drive losses. Check pulleys for wear: cupped out pulleys allow belt (even a new belt) to ride lower in the pulley, which changes gear ratio and lowers air flow. 2. SHUTTERS AND GUARDS – Anything that obstructs the airflow causes lost fan performance. Clean shutters once

per week during tunnel ventilation. Dirty shutters require more energy from the airflow to open and reduce airflow and efficiency. Clean guards once a week because dirty guards present more surface area to obstruct airflow.

3. MOTORS – Most electric circuits and electrical devices run more efficiently and last longer at cooler temperatures. Clean motors once per flock. Dirty motors run hotter, lose efficiency and have reduced motor life.

4. BEARINGS – Lubricate bearings twice per year where applicable (Spring and Fall). Dry bearings require more power to turn, causing you to lose fan efficiency and shorten bearing life.

Loose or cracked fan belts, as shown in above photo, can cause lowered airflow as well as threaten complete loss of airflow when the belt breaks. Worn belts or motor pulleys are often overlooked, and will cause lowered fan rpms and reduced house air flow.

Worn fan belts ride low in the motor pulley, as shown in top photo above. Result: blade rpms are greatly reduced, thus robbing cfms, air speed and wind chill cooling. Belts should be tight and ride high in the motor pulley, as in bottom photo, to achieve maximum fan rpms and best wind-chill and evaporative cooling. NOTE: The same effect is caused by a worn pulley, even if belt is new. Retensioning the belt will not cure either problem, worn belt or worn pulley.


March / April 2018

Alabama Poultry Magazine

EVAPORATIVE COOLING CHECKLIST 1. PADS – Blow debris from outside of pad system to dog house with backpack blower with pads dry. This will push all debris and cobwebs into dog house to be later removed. If pads are damaged they must be replaced.

2. DOG HOUSE – Sweep all cobwebs and other debris off of the back of the pads with a broom. Once everything is on the floor, remove it from the dog house.

3. PAD RINSE – Close inlet curtain or tunnel doors. Wash excess debris from pads with water hose and spray nozzle carefully. High pressure washer rinsing is not recommended. Wash anything left inside dog house out. (If pads require a chemical cleaning use only recommended chemicals and cleaning procedures.)

4. DRAIN SYSTEM – Drain the evaporative cooling system recirculation trough and sump tanks and clear all dirt/debris from the system. Leaving trash in the system causes premature fouling of filters, pads and pumps.

9. DISTRIBUTION HEADER – Flush distribution header. Loosen union at distribution header and carefully clean all distribution holes in header with screwdriver or soft bristle brush. Do not change the size of the hole in the header. Run water in system to ensure all holes are free from debris or clogs.

10. INLET OPENING - Inlet curtain opening must be at least a minimum of 80 percent of the area of the cooling pad system area. 600 square feet of 6-inch recirculating pad requires at least 480 square feet of free air unobstructed inlet opening minimum. Bunched up curtains or partially opened tunnel doors must not restrict the tunnel inlet opening!!

11. DOG HOUSE TIGHTNESS – The dog house on each side must be as air tight as possible. A little spray foam and carpentry work will go a very long way. All cracks, holes, and leaks must be sealed. Air that bypasses the recirculating pads is not cooled and works against the system.

5. FLUSH SYSTEM – Flush the top header system and the trough to the best of your ability. 6. FILTERS – Remove and clean or replace filters. Replacement filters must be stored on site and be readily available when needed. Filters must be checked once a week at times of high use. Do not operate system without filters and screens in place.

7. PUMPS, FLOATS & TANKS – Make sure pump intake screens are cleaned, floats are in place and adjusted and tanks are clean and free from debris. Pump screens must be checked at least once a week during periods of high use of cooling system or as often as system is drained and flushed.

8. WATER SUPPLY – Test run recirculation system to make sure the fill levels are adjusted properly and adequate water is available to fill system. Make sure the supply system fully wets the entire pad system and no dry streaks are left on pads. If supply water quality is a problem, additional filtration or treatment may be necessary.


March / April 2018

Alabama Poultry Magazine

ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS CHECKLIST Post In Your Control Room 1. MAIN PANEL – Main panel breaker must be checked on a weekly basis during the summertime to make sure it is not overheating. Breaker spots can be installed on both sides of each main breaker to help spot early warning signs of trouble. At least one exact replacement main breaker should be stored on site preferably in a common location on the farm site. 2. CONTROLLER BACKUP – Check that controller backup system is set to turn on automatically if controller fails. Make sure that if controller fails, siren and dialer operate properly. Make sure backup batteries have been installed in dialer or backup controller box. 3. BACKUP THERMOSTATS – Test backup thermostats for proper operation and temperature setting. Placing backup thermostats near cooling systems is not recommended.

4. CIRCUIT BREAKERS – Check to make sure breakers are not overheating or tripping. Problem may be in the electrical system or the breaker itself. Make sure exact replacement circuit breakers are readily available. If replacing the breaker does not solve the problem, get a qualified electrician to troubleshoot the system.

5. ELECTRICAL CONNECTIONS – Electrical connections in transfer switches, generators, service disconnects, and main panels/subpanels should be checked and tightened every year. This should only be done by a qualified and/or licensed electrician. Damaged fan outlets, equipment outlets, light fixtures and junction boxes are fire hazards and must be repaired!

6. GROUNDING LUG – Grounding lug on ground rod should be checked for tightness at every house and generator shed. This is done by moving wire at lug-to-rod connection. Solid acorn style grounding lugs are recommended to tie ground wire to ground rods.

7. LIGHTNING PROTECTION – Check to make sure lighting protection is in place and properly installed. Lightning protection works best when installed in layers to protect major electrical and electronic components. Protection systems must be sized to protect the equipment it is intended to protect. One-size fits-all is not the best way to go. Lightning protection must only be installed by a qualified or licensed electrician.


NAME: _____________________________ PHONE #:______________________________


March / April 2018

Alabama Poultry Magazine


1. FUEL LEVEL – Check the fuel level in the tank to make sure that you have at least 20 gallons of fuel on reserve in case of an emergency power outage. Maintaining a fresh fuel supply is a must. Fuel filters should be changed each year. Newer fuel mixtures may not have the same “shelf life” as previous fuels so more frequent fuel changes might be necessary.

2. BATTERY – Batteries should be replaced every 3 years regardless of condition. Check all battery connections to ensure that there is no corrosion buildup and all connections are tight. Check the battery charge level to make sure there is a full charge on the battery. Many growers have installed inexpensive trickle chargers on batteries to ensure a full charge when needed. 3. FLUID LEVELS AND AIR FILTERS – All vital fluids must be kept at proper levels. Engine oil must be changed and fluids must be checked at least once per year. Oil, water/coolant, and fuel gauges should be double checked. Air filters must be inspected and replaced as needed. 4. GENERATOR SETTINGS – Make sure backup switch is set to automatically turn generator on or switch to ON when the power fails. Backup “key” switches may be installed so that if electronic or analog generator control board malfunctions occur, the generator can still be manually started. 5. TRANSFER SWITCH – Check transfer switching to make sure it is set to automatically transfer power when the grid power fails. Transfer switch testing must be done at least once a week when the generator cycles on. Most transfer switches have a backup means for transferring power installed in case electronic controls fail. Make sure all farm hands know how to manually transfer power in case of emergency. 6. FEEDER DISCONNECTS – Breakers or fuses must be inspected to ensure proper operation. Exact replacement breakers or fuses must be stored in generator shed in case of emergency.

DATE GENERATOR WAS LAST TESTED AND SERVICED – ALSO RECORD HOURS ON ENGINE: 1. ___________ / ___________ 2. ___________ / ___________3. ___________ / ___________

4. ___________ / ___________ 5. ___________ / ___________6. ___________ / ___________ GENERATORS MUST BE FULLY SERVICED ONE TIME EVERY YEAR! GENERATOR SERVICE EMERGENCY CONTACT:

NAME: _____________________________ PHONE #:______________________________ ELECTRICIAN EMERGENCY CONTACT:

NAME: _____________________________ PHONE #:______________________________


March / April 2018

Alabama Poultry Magazine

operating at 100 percent capacity, which is why fan and shutter maintenance is so important for achieving the goal of maximum live weight production. The second tool we have in a modern house is evaporative cooling. Reducing the incoming air temperature further accelerates the bird’s ability to lose heat from the surface of its skin. It’s important to realize that the effectiveness of the evaporative cooling system also depends on maintaining adequate airflow with adequate water applied to the pads. Clogged cool cells not only reduce cooling, they reduce the wind-chill effect of tunnel ventilation, which is why evaporative cooling system maintenance is so important. While first-class and top-functioning ventilation and cooling systems can take us a long way toward meeting the hot weather challenge, a point can be reached when we get into triple digit temperatures with market age birds, where heat stress, reduced performance, and increasing mortalities are inevitable. In other words, the heat load of the house is more than the ventilation and cooling system can handle on that day. At that point, we are outside of the design envelope for that particular house on that particular day. The fact is that it’s not only warmer air, but also heat given off by the birds that make up the severe hot weather challenge. This means that stocking density may need to be taken into consideration well in advance of anticipated hot weather. Houses with inferior insulation, hot air leaks, and inadequate air speed will especially do better in severe hot weather if we take some of the heat load out of the house by reducing the density. People don’t like to talk about reducing densities because of the effect on cash flow. For example in a 40X500 house changing the hot weather density from 0.90 to 1.05 results in 3,175 fewer birds in the house. But at 6.5 pounds market weight that reduces the total heat load on the poultry house by over 100,000 BTUs per hour.

Continued from pg. 20

Adjusting stocking density ahead of anticipated severe heat conditions is a business decision, and one that can make good economic sense, resulting in slightly lower live weight production, but better overall flock performance and fewer mortalities; however, it has to be made at the time of placement, often 4 to 6 weeks ahead of the time we think the hottest conditions of the summer might prevail. Make no mistake, however: whatever the weather, a well-maintained Class A tunnel house will always get you closer to the goal of maximum live weight production.

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March / April 2018

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CALENDAR OF EVENTS AP&EA “Evening of Fun” Concert Saturday, June 9, 2018 Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex Birmingham

AP&EA Annual Meeting July 16-17 Sandestin Hilton Beach Resort Destin, Fla.

Attention Growers: We are looking for poultry producers who are interested in participating in a clay shooting tournament this fall. There will be a minimal charge and three growers will be on a team with an allied company person to make a four-person team. There will be one tournament in south Alabama and one tournament in north Alabama. More details in the next magazine. If you have questions or comments, call Ray Hilburn at 334-265-2732 or 334-320-5478.

Alabama Poultry Magazine

Alabama Poultry March/April 2018  

The Alabama Poultry and Egg Association's official magazine.

Alabama Poultry March/April 2018  

The Alabama Poultry and Egg Association's official magazine.