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Source: Shanna Williams, 785-532-7558, shannaw@found.ksu.edu

Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011

CARGILL GIFT HELPS K-STATE LEAD WAY IN FEED AND FOOD SAFETY RESEARCH

MANHATTAN -- Cargill has announced another milestone in the company's partnership with Kansas State University: a $500,000 gift that will help fund the construction of the Cargill Center for Feed Safety Research.

The facility will conduct studies with pathogens such as salmonella and E. coli to address current food and feed safety issues facing the feed industry.

"K-State can provide specialty livestock diets to support infectious disease experiments, oral vaccine studies and other trials under high-level, bio-safety controlled conditions. This work can't be done anywhere else in the United States," said Kirk Schulz, K-State president.

"Animal nutrition research during the past 50-plus years has focused on several key areas, including the establishment of nutritional requirements of animals," said Gary Pierzynski, interim dean of K-State's College of Agriculture. "The growing importance of related factors, such as food safety and control of foodborne pathogens, is increasingly evident. Future animal nutrition and feed processing technologies research must take these factors into consideration to ensure the long-term sustainability of animal agriculture."

Once operational, the facility will allow for planned research on a variety of food and feed safety efforts, including feed processing technologies to sterilize feed and lower bacterial/viral introduction to livestock operations and the food chain. The facility will be in the department of grain science and industry complex along Kimball Avenue. It will be part of the new O.H. Kruse Feed Mill and Biorefinery Teaching and Research Center, the groundbreaking for which was in October 2010. The facility also will be near the site of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, which will conduct research on dangerous and exotic foreign animal diseases.

The Cargill Center for Feed Safety Research will be jointly operated by the K-State departments of grain science and industry and animal sciences and industry, and will serve as a critical link between the research, teaching and outreach efforts of the departments.

"Advancements in food safety are one of the biggest focus areas for the industry at the present time," said Chuck Warta, a vice president at Cargill Animal Nutrition. “Feed and feed ingredients are an increasingly critical part of the safe food system. Helping enable this research is an investment that reaches beyond Cargill. The entire animal feed industry will benefit from the continued development of food, feed and feed ingredient safety."

Philanthropic contributions to K-State are coordinated by the Kansas State University Foundation. The foundation staff works with university partners to build lifelong relationships with alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students through involvement and investment in the university.