Iowa State University (ISU) broke ground Friday, September 13th, to mark the start of construction of its $21.2 million Kent Corporation Feed Mill and Grain Science Complex (name pending approval by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa).
The site, located on ten acres of university-owned land southwest of the intersection of Highway 30 and State Avenue in Ames will include a feed mill tower, feed milling and mixing structures, grain storage bins, a warehouse, and an educational building with classrooms. Construction of the complex should finish during the summer of 2021.
Kent Corporation provided the naming commitment of $8 million in 2017. Other lead commitments for the project came from the Iowa Corn Promotion Board (which committed $4 million), Sukup Manufacturing Co (which committed $2 million of in-kind support) and California Pellet Mill of Waterloo (which committed $2.6 million).
“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. The Kent Corporation Feed Mill and Grain Sciences Complex will provide the space, facilities, and technology to strengthen our ability to carry out our mission,” said ISU President Wendy Wintersteen.
“The Kent Corporation Feed Mill and Grain Science Complex will be a world-class, state-of-the-art facility used by faculty and staff to prepare students, train industry professionals, and conduct impactful research that will make Iowa State a recognized leader in support of the feed industry,” said Daniel J. Robison, holder of the Endowed Dean’s Chair in ISU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
The new Kent Corporation Feed Mill and Grain Science Complex will enhance ISU teaching programs related to feed technology, grain science, and animal nutrition. ISU will offer classes and short courses at the complex, conduct research, and prepare animal feed. Students and industry trainees will use the complex to learn how to keep the food system secure and sustainable.
When completed, the new complex will provide hands-on learning experiences for students across majors such as animal science, agricultural biosystems engineering, agricultural business, and more. 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.
The facility also will serve as 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 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.