One of K-State’s long-held goals is finally becoming a reality.
Construction on the new O.H. Kruse Feed Technology Innovation Center began in
May. Once completed, the center will serve as the new home for the feed science and management program.
Chis Berg, junior in feed science management, is excited about the completion of the new feed mill.
“The new feed mill will give students an opportunity to work in a feed mill that is updated and closer to what the industry has compared to the mill that we are using now,” Berg said. “This mill will better prepare us for future employers and make K-State students more marketable.”
Keith Behnke, emeritus professor of grain sciences and industry, is working on a blog about the construction’s progress. Along with the blog, there is a construction cam for those who want to watch the process as it happens or just check in periodically. The blog and construction cam can be found online at grains.k-state.edu. Behnke is excited about the opportunities that the new feed mill will open up to students and others in the K-State community.
“This will allow us to increase student employment at the feed mill,” Behnke said. “Hopefully we can allow a few older students the opportunity to experience management training and the shift foreman position while still going to school.”
The feed science program,
nearly 60 years old, has graduated more than 700 students since the industry
established the program at K-State, and several thousand domestic
and international feed industry professionals have participated in
educational short courses through the program.
K-State’s current animal sciences mill will be torn down to make room for the new facility. The grain science program currently has an on-campus mill that has been remodeled throughout the years but needs to be replaced. The departments of grain sciences and industry and animal sciences and industry will share the new mill and use it for the teaching, research and
outreach needs of both departments as well as the College of Agriculture.
“The new feed mill complex
is one of K-State’s top priorities,” said K-State President Kirk Schulz, according to an April K-State press release. “We are enthusiastic about the new facilities, which will benefit industry as well as students.”
The mill project
arose when the Kruse family made a gift of $2 million to the university in honor of O.H. Kruse, who founded a grain and milling company in 1935. Kansas then committed to providing approximately half of the funding
required to build the $16 million facility, which includes a BioSafety level two teaching and research mill, referred to as the
Cargill Feed Safety Research Center.
In this part of the
facility, researchers will be able to work safely with virulent pathogens like salmonella in feeds. Due to the pathogens, everything in this part of the facility has to be able to withstand 140-degree temperatures. Every time a pathogen is used in the
facility, it has to be heated for 24 hours to kill any still living pathogens, which makes this part of the building harder to construct. Every aspect has to be carefully selected in order to ensure that all parts can endure the extreme heat, including electrical machines,
lights, computers and other equipment.
“The facility will be jointly
managed and will provide research diets and supplements for all university
animal units, as well as a teaching platform for all students, particularly
those in feed science and management,” said Ken Odde, head of the animal sciences and industry department, in the press release.
According to Dirk Maier, department head of grain sciences and industry, the design team for the mill
worked with engineers and equipment vendors to identify specific machines that
would meet the needs of the university. The design team, made up of faculty and students from both departments, started working together more than two years ago.
new feed mill will allow us to show international participants of our short
courses the technology advancements happening in the grain industry,” said Mark Fowler, International Grains Program associate director and outreach specialist.
International Grains Program hosts short courses for a variety of topics such
as wheat and flour milling, grain handling and safety and milling safety and
management. Participants come from all
over the world to attend these courses and then take the information back to
assist their companies in moving forward.