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K-State to break ground on new flour mill, lab

By Mary Lou Peter


In its continuing efforts to provide quality education to students and research for the state's wheat industry, Kansas State University will break ground this summer on a new flour mill and wheat quality laboratory.

"This will be the third of five buildings being constructed by the K-State Department of Grain Science and Industry on 16 acres in Manhattan," said department head Brendan Donnelly.

The facility, to be named the Hal Ross Flour Mill in honor of long-time industry leader and Wichita businessman Hal Ross, will house a state-of-the-art teaching and research facility for dry grain processing, Donnelly said.

The actual building will be built at an approximate cost of $4 million. With site development and contingency and other costs factored in, the total cost will be about $6.8 million.

The mill will be a commercial-type, 260-hundredweight-per-day flour mill, Donnelly said. Its construction will allow it to serve as a standard mill processing facility, while also allowing flow and equipment changes that will support research in the milling process. The facility also will house a second milling unit for specialty milling of grains such as corn, sorghum and the like.

An adjacent area will provide for grain storage and cleaning.

Attached to the mill building will be a wheat quality laboratory for evaluation of plant breeder experimental lines in the wheat variety development program. The lab also will be used to evaluate commercial varieties of wheat and analyze their flour characteristics and milling performance.

The milling facility will be a concrete construction with self-contained heat-up sanitation abilities and with freight elevator access to all levels.

"All systems in the mill will be computer-controlled and -automated, including inventory control and in-process monitoring," Donnelly said. "Manual over-ride capability will be included to allow equipment to be started and stopped independently and permit reconfiguration for alternative uses."

The mill, funded by donations from Hal Ross; Archer Daniels Midland Co.; Cargill, Inc.; and other private donors, is expected to be completed and operational by January 2006.

Other facilities in the K-State Grain Science and Industry Complex, located on the north side of Manhattan, are the recently completed Bioprocessing and Industrial Value-Added Program and the International Grains Program Conference Center buildings. Still to be built on the site are a grain science teaching and research building, which will house the Bakery Science and Management Program and a feed mill.


June 2003