Iowa State University research feed mill gets $2.6m donation

By Aerin Einstein-Curtis

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Oxana Medvedeva
© GettyImages/Oxana Medvedeva

Related tags expansion Feed production

California Pellet Mill is providing $2.6m in equipment to Iowa State University to support an ongoing effort to develop a new feed mill and grain science complex.

The donation from the California-based equipment company will help the university replace aging facilities and help train students, said Brian Meyer, director of college relations at Iowa State.

The new feed mill and related facilities are being funded through private giving, he said. The donation from California Pellet Mill (CPM) brings the funds raised to $16.5m and the total project has a $21.2m price tag.

“A groundbreaking ceremony is tentatively scheduled for mid-September,”​ he told FeedNavigator of the anticipated schedule. “The construction contract is expected to be awarded this fall and completion date expected spring of 2021.”

The schematic design for the project is anticipated to be approved in June, he added.

The project also has received support from the Kent Corporation, Iowa Corn Promotion Board and Sukup Manufacturing Co. the university said.

In addition to the new facilities, a related educational program has been designed for students interested in work with feed technology, said Meyer. A new minor in feed technology has already been developed by faculty from the department of agricultural and biosystems engineering.

“The minor will help prepare students for feed and grain industry careers, where new technologies and more stringent regulations have increased the need for capable, knowledgeable workforce,” ​he said. “When completed, the new feed mill and grain science complex will provide hands-on learning experiences for students across majors in animal science, agricultural biosystems engineering and agricultural business.”

Facility overview

The 10-acre site is set to include a feed mill tower, a feed mixing and milling structure and storage bins along with classroom and laboratory facilities.

In addition to the educational opportunity, the new facility is set to generate all the feed necessary to support the livestock and poultry raised in Iowa State’s research and teaching farms, said Meyer. It also will be able to produce smaller amounts of feed needed for research projects or to use in testing and demonstration efforts for university partners and collaborating companies.  

The planned feed and grain complex is intended to support university efforts as part of its land-grant mission, he said.

“Students will take courses at the facility and receive hands-on experience with modern grain milling,” ​he said. “Faculty scientists will be able to create more precise feed formulations for experiments, and study new and emerging processes, technologies and ingredients.”

“The facility also will be equipped to conduct training and continuing education programs that keep industry employees and supervisors up to speed on critically important issues of biosecurity, feed safety, regulatory compliance and more,”​ he added.

The gift from CPM includes core milling equipment, like multiple sizes of hammer and roller mills along with pelleting equipment and related services, said Meyer. A computerized automation system also is part of the company’s gift – with this new technology in place, the new feed mill will replace Iowa State’s aging small mills that had limited capabilities,” ​he added.

The equipment also will allow for production at multiple levels, or different batch sizes, which is expected to support the exploration of new feed ingredients and methodologies, he said.  

“It also offers students and scientists the opportunity to work with a modern automation control system that can be used directly on the mill and as simulation of system control,” ​he said. “This will benefit instruction of students, research of faculty and training and demonstration for clientele of extension and outreach.”

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