MSU Poultry Science Department welcomes new leader

Contact: Meg Henderson

Ken Macklin (Photo by Grace Cockrell)

STARKVILLE, Mississippi – A seasoned specialist in poultry pathogens is the new chief of Mississippi State’s Department of Poultry Science.

A native of Illinois, Ken Macklin joined the department after serving as a research professor and consulting specialist at Auburn University. He has over 25 years of experience researching diseases affecting poultry, with particular expertise in genetics, immunology and bacteriology. Macklin is a member of the Alabama Poultry and Egg Association, the Southern Poultry Science Society, and the Poultry Science Association; board member, Southern Conference on Avian Diseases; and before moving to MSU, he served as treasurer of the AU chapter of Sigma Xi, a nonprofit honor society for scientists and engineers.

“I am very excited to come to MSU and work with all the amazing faculty, staff and students at the faculty and university,” said Macklin. “I know that together we can achieve great things.”

As Macklin settles into his new role, he is already considering future goals and opportunities for the department.

“Right now, I want the department to achieve their goal of building a feed mill. Additionally, I want to increase our visibility at the state and national level for our academic and research programs and our work with industry stakeholders,” he said.

Macklin’s current research involves determining the effect of feed additives on common foodborne bacteria and pathogens in poultry. He also examines management practices that reduce both poultry and foodborne pathogens in poultry houses, as reducing these pathogens will improve bird health and performance and reduce the occurrence of pathogens entering the human food chain.

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“I’m from Dr. Macklin’s leadership and his ability to lead the Department of Poultry Science,” said Scott Willard, dean of MSU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. “His research will contribute to our state’s largest agricultural commodity, ensuring food quality and safety for the poultry industry while educating the next generation of poultry leaders.”

At Auburn, Macklin held a 50 percent extension position and his programs aimed to educate both the commercial poultry industry and small flock producers on biosecurity, poultry health, food safety and environmental issues.

“We are delighted that Dr. Macklin joins our Extension team to provide research-based training to the poultry industry and the many backyard breeders who depend on the best practices developed by MSU Extension to help them produce successful flocks,” said Steve Martin, interim director of MSU Extension Service. “Dr. Macklin understands the Land Grant mission of teaching, research and service, and his past experience in expansion will be an asset to the state and industry.”

Macklin received his Ph.D. in Poultry Sciences from Auburn University in 2003 and his Masters and Bachelors degrees in Biology from Northern Illinois University in 1995 and 1992, respectively.

For more information on MSU’s Poultry Science Department, visit

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