Iowa State University sees $1.5m gift for new feed mill facility

By Aerin Einstein-Curtis

- Last updated on GMT

© Iowa State University/ Feed complex visualization
© Iowa State University/ Feed complex visualization

Related tags feed mill construction Research

The Iowa Crop Improvement Association is supporting Iowa State University’s work on a new feed mill and grain science complex with a $1.5m gift to help fund construction and development.

The project’s overall $21.2m price tag is being met through gifts and donations, the university reported.

“We’ve raised approximately $19m of the projected $21.2m cost,” ​said Brian Meyer, director of college relations for the college of agriculture and life sciences at Iowa State. “We continue to fundraise for both monetary and in-kind gifts to complete the campaign.”

The new complex aims to expand opportunities for plant science and seed science, said Jim Rouse, executive director of the Iowa Crop Improvement Association. The organization’s gift reflects its interest in providing for education and research.

© Iowa State University
Officials at the ceremony included, left to right: Larissa Holtmyer Jones, president, ISU Foundation; Daniel J. Robison, dean, ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Jim Rouse, executive director, Iowa Crop Improvement Association; Gage Kent, CEO, Kent Corporation; Roger Zylstra, president, Iowa Corn Promotion Board; Charles Sukup, president, Sukup Manufacturing Co.; Jim Hughes, general manager, CPM; and Wendy Wintersteen, ISU President.

Building the feed mill complex

The feed mill and grain science complex is set to be located in Ames, Iowa at the university’s Curtiss Farm. Schematic designs for the 47,000 square foot project were approved in June and the university officially broke ground on the upcoming facilities in September.

Currently, the team is working through the process of selecting a designer-builder to lead the construction process, said Meyer.

“Once that contract is in place, design of the facility will continue along with more detailed construction drawings,” ​he told FeedNavigator. “We anticipate construction will begin spring of 2020.”

“The complex is expected to be completed late summer or early fall 2021,”​ he added.

Feed complex priorities, details

The location will have several new buildings including a feed mill tower, grain storage bins, a feed mill tower, warehouse spaces along with an educational building and classrooms. The mill will be able to generate multiple kinds of animal feed and researchers attached to the site are expected to help improve feed development, in part, by reducing variation in diet nutrient variation.

The new complex will replace three existing feed mills, which are outdated and no long in compliance with worker or feed safety laws, according to university information.

The complex will support the state’s role in feed production, said Meyer. "In Iowa, the [feed] industry has about $20bn in annual sales and sustains 58,000 jobs.”

Development of the upcoming complex started with an understanding of the feed industry’s role and importance in Iowa and the site is intended to be a “transformative facility”​ for research, education and extension, he said.  

“The feed mill and grain science complex will have a focus on innovation that supports Iowa grain and feed industries; education for the next generation of industry employees to gain valuable real-world experience; and providing, through extension, continuing education that helps the workforce and customers keep up-to-date on the latest developments,” ​said Meyer.

“Iowa has had a worldwide reputation as a powerhouse in corn and soybean production, and in nearly every sector of animal agriculture, for years, he said. “Less known is the state’s leadership in the feed industry, which ensure that tens of millions of animals and poultry in Iowa have the best nutrition to thrive.”

“Iowa is one of five states consistently ranked near the top in terms of the economic impact of the feed industry,”​ he added.    

A focus on extension topics at the site is set to address regulatory compliance, emerging biosecurity issues and new processing methods, he said. “For students, the complex will mean hands-on education for those with strong interests in feed technology, grain science and animal nutrition,”​ he added.

“This fall, for the first time, Iowa State’s new feed technology minor was available for students, and so far, 50 students are taking coursework in feed technology,” ​he said. “The complex also will give students access to a state-of-the-art facility for mentored research in all these areas. These experiences will help set them apart from their peers on issues directly correlated to the industry.”

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