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Kansas State prepares for feed mill construction

The O. H. Kruse Feed Technology Innovation Center at Kansas State will feature latest feed production technology and offer multiple uses.

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With equipment moving into place, construction of the new feed mill at Kansas State University is poised to begin, with completion scheduled for mid-2013. The facility will serve as the new home of the Feed Science and Management program.

“The new feed technology innovation center is one of Kansas State University’s top priorities as we work to become a top 50 public research university by 2025,” said Kansas State President Kirk Schulz. “We are enthusiastic about the new facilities, which will benefit the industry as well as our students.”

Multiple funding sources  

The Kruse family of Goshen, Calif., provided the lead gift of $2 million for the facility to honor the company founder, O. H. Kruse, and to stress the importance of educating and preparing the next generation of feed industry professionals. The State of Kansas, Kansas Bioscience Authority, Kansas State University and its College of Agriculture are providing $10 million in funding required for the new facility. Additional cash and in-kind equipment donations provided the remaining resources needed for construction and equipping of the new facility.

“The decision to build a single facility and combine feed-related activities of the departments of grain science and animal sciences was made to gain efficiencies and synergies for the benefit of the teaching, research and outreach programs of both departments and the College of Agriculture,” said Gary Pierzynski, interim dean of the College of Agriculture and interim director of Kansas State University Research and Extension.

Cargill Feed Safety Research Center  

What will ultimately be a nearly $15 million facility will include a modern, automated five-ton-per-hour production and teaching feed mill and a biosafety-level 2 teaching and research feed mill, referred to as the Cargill Feed Safety Research Center. The Feed Safety Research Center will be designed so that scientists will not only be able to work safely with low-virulence pathogens like Salmonella in feeds, but also be able to use the facility for other research, teaching and outreach activities. The research center will feature a one ton per hour CPM pelleting system equipped with a Wenger High Intensity Pre-Conditioner, Loss-in-Weight feeder system and a Bliss counterflow pellet cooler.

“The new feed technology innovation center is another way Kansas State University is demonstrating it can support the Department of Homeland Security’s National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility being built in Manhattan,” Schulz said.

Area for grain research  

In addition to the processing operations, the facility will contain a grain and ingredient receiving, handling and storage facility that will also allow for conducting large-scale grain storage and grain quality preservation research. All hopper-bottom steel bins are being donated by SCAFCO of Spokane, Wash. A separate fundraising effort is currently underway in partnership with the Kansas Grain and Feed Association to complete that part of the facility as a turn-key project.

“The facility will be jointly managed and will provide research diets and supplements for all university animal units as well as serve as a teaching platform for all students studying feed science and animal nutrition,” said Ken Odde, head of the department of animal sciences and industry.

One of the important operating principles will be that nearly all of the labor will be provided by student employees, and many of those will be able to assume supervisory roles during their college careers.

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