Emphasizing the importance of strong industry partnerships as well as the future of education in south Arkansas, the groundbreaking ceremony for the First Financial Bank Poultry Education Facility was held October 1, 2018.
Dr. Trey Berry, president of Southern Arkansas University, welcomed leaders of regional poultry industries as well as SAU alumni, Magnolia community
leaders, and representatives of First Financial Bank of El Dorado, to the ceremony on the north side of the Agriculture Center.
First Financial Bank is one of the nation’s largest poultry lenders and is proud to partner with SAU in the revitalization of its poultry studies program. The curriculum will improve instruction in poultry in south Arkansas and create more job candidates for the field. The new complex, which consists of three phases, will allow students to observe and interact with different aspects of poultry production – from breeder to hatchery, from broiler to processing. It will contain a feed storage room and a classroom/laboratory.
Berry said the bank made known its interest in the program just as SAU was exploring bringing poultry back to its agriculture curriculum. “The timing was perfect,” he said. “We hope to meet the employment needs of the industry in this region and across the state.”