WV Farm Bureau Magazine May 2012 - Page 13

WVU researchers partner with Virginia poultry producers oultry – West Virginia’s largest agricultural commodity – faces challenges in terms of its environmental impact, particularly on water quality. The poultry industry is aggressively combatting potentially negative environmental effects. This commitment led industry leaders to West Virginia University. WVU’s Division of Animal and Nutritional Sciences (DANS) is in the fourth year of a partnership with the Virginia Poultry Growers Cooperative, which represents more than 100 turkey farms in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. The farms produce and market conventional, antibioticfree, and organic birds. The partnership seeks to determine the industry’s priority research needs that WVU’s faculty and facilities can address. To assist the effort, the West $125,000 renovation of a state-ofthe-art research facility at WVU’s Wardensville farm. The cooperative also fully funds a graduate assistantship for a DANS student. Extension poultry specialist, describes the research funded by the partnership as “directly helping turkey growers in the state and region.” Each year the cooperative funds two major studies that address the most pressing problems facing producers. WVU scholars, staff, and students have