Iowa State University Department of Animal Science announces gifts of equipment for the Robert T. Hamilton Poultry Teaching and Research Facility

February 25th, 2021

AMES, Iowa – The Iowa State University Department of Animal Science has received several gifts to operationalize the pedigree room in the Robert T. Hamilton Poultry Teaching and Research Facility. Fienhage Poultry-Solutions contributed the pedigree room pens, and several farm groups within Versova, including Hawkeye Pride Farms, CenterFresh Farms and Iowa Cage-Free, donated funds for penning installation. When tallied together, these contributions provided a savings of $100,000 to the facility. In addition, Chore-Time donated hopper bottom bins that will provide feed to the pedigree room, with Goodman Classic donating the installation. 

Based in Germany, Fienhage is a worldwide supplier of cage-free aviary equipment. Center Fresh, Iowa Cage-Free and Hawkeye Pride are part of the Versova family of companies and are Iowa-based suppliers of shell eggs and egg products for the further processed market. Chore-Time is a leading global provider of complete end-to-end systems for poultry and egg production. Goodman Classic, located in Carson, Iowa, constructs agricultural buildings.  

“The newly equipped pedigree room enables Iowa State to continue its excellence in animal breeding and genetics in poultry,” said Daniel Thomson, chair and professor in the department of animal science. “The farm operations start with genetics and proceed through every facet of the egg industry for teaching and research. Our students are very fortunate to be able to use this state-of-the-art facility to enhance their training.”

J.T. Dean, president of Versova, said, “Center Fresh Egg Farm, Iowa Cage Free LLP, Hawkeye Pride and Fienhage are pleased to collaborate in supporting the Hamilton Poultry Teaching and Research Facility at Iowa State University.  We fully support the mission of Iowa State in the areas of teaching, research and extension, and this represents an important investment in attracting and training the next generation of poultry producers. Community and leadership are in our company’s core values, and one of our guiding principles is continuous improvement – all of which are further advanced through this donation.”

“Chore-Time is excited and proud to help support the future of egg and poultry research at the new Hamilton Poultry facility,” said Kerry Trambaugh, regional sales manager at Chore-Time. “We hope that the donation of equipment can help in educating the future leaders and decision-makers in the poultry industries.”

Said Jeff Goodman, founder and president of Goodman Classic, “We are pleased to support the Iowa State poultry facility, and we feel that donating this installation is an important way to invest in the future of our industry.” 

Dedicated in March 2020, the Hamilton Poultry Teaching and Research Farm supports education and research on poultry housing systems, nutrition, food safety and microbiology, flock behavior, genetics, health and welfare and environmental issues. The facility has resources dedicated to specialized genetics, a hatchery, different layer housing systems, egg packaging area and rooms for broiler research, teaching and public viewing. The state-of-the art building, which was fully donor-funded, allows Iowa State to continue to support one of the state’s top industries: Iowa is the number one egg-producing state in the nation and also processes 70 percent of the eggs produced in state.

The companies made their gifts through the Iowa State University Foundation. The foundation is a private, nonprofit organization committed to securing and managing gifts that benefit Iowa State University. The Forever True, For Iowa State campaign, with a historic goal to raise $1.5 billion, will help support Iowa State in becoming the premier land-grant university for the 21st century and beyond.


Michelle Hiscocks, communications program coordinator, Department of Animal Science, 515-294-5517,
Elaine Watkins-Miller, communications, Iowa State University Foundation, 515-294-1005,