Iowa State University breaks ground on feed mill complex

Iowa State University breaks ground on feed mill complex

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Facility will enhance teaching programs related to feed technology, grain science and animal nutrition

Iowa State University has broken ground on a $21.2 million, six-building feed mill and grain science complex at the school.

According to the university, the complex will include a feed mill tower, grain handling and storage complex, warehouse, education building, scale and sampling building, and biosecurity/vehicle wash building. Construction is expected to be completed in summer 2021. The facility likely would produce about 10,000 tons of feed in a year, according to previous reports.

“The feed, grain and livestock sectors are key to the success of agriculture in Iowa,” said Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen in a press release. “As a top land-grant university, Iowa State is at the forefront of critical and cutting-edge research, education and extension programs that support these important sectors.”

Kent Corp. provided the naming commitment of $8 million in 2017. Other lead commitments for the project were provided By the Iowa Corn Promotion Board, which committed $4 million, and Sukup Manufacturing Co., which committed $2 million of in-kind support. In May, a $2.6 million commitment was made by California Pellet Mill (CPM).

The new Kent Corporation Feed Mill and Grain Science Complex will enhance teaching programs related to feed technology, grain science and animal nutrition. Classes and short courses will be taught at the complex, research conducted and animal feed prepared. Students and industry trainees will use the complex to learn how to keep the food system secure and sustainable.

New minor in feed technology

When completed, the new complex will provide hands-on learning experiences for students across majors such as animal science, agricultural biosystems engineering and agricultural business. This fall, a new minor in feed technology debuted, developed by faculty in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering along with faculty in the Department of Animal Science. The minor will help prepare students to meet a growing demand for highly skilled professionals in the feed and grain industries.

It is expected to reinforce the quality of research by Iowa State faculty, serving as a source for custom-made animal feeds for academic studies.

The facility also will be a hub for continuing education and extension programs for employees in feed milling and grain industries. It will provide extension and outreach programs on topics that include feed technology, grain science and animal nutrition.

These programs will help feed and grain industry workers meet an increasing number of regulatory compliance issues, address biosecurity concerns and gain experience in advanced processing methods.

The new facility will centralize feed production close to the university’s animal agriculture teaching and research farms.

The mill will have a capacity of approximately 20,000 tons of feed per year to meet needs of ISU classes, tours, short courses, research diets, internships, small batches and rations for livestock and poultry.

Iowa leads the nation in the amount of animal feed consumed at more than 21 million tons a year. The feed industry in the state represents more than $20 billion in sales and more than 58,000 jobs in Iowa are connected to the industry.