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K-State Today

April 13, 2012



Construction of the new O.H. Kruse Feed Technology Innovation Center begins

By Communications and Marketing

feed mill rendering

The new feed technology center at K-State is becoming a reality. Construction has begun and should be completed in mid-2013.

The facility will serve as the new home of the feed science and management program, which has provided nearly 700 graduates to the U.S feed manufacturing industry during the 60 years since the industry helped to establish the program at K-State. In addition, several thousand domestic and international feed industry professionals have participated in educational short courses and seminars provided by the program.

The faculty members have been a source of problem solving and new technological information throughout the program’s history. The program has been fortunate to have a dedicated teaching and research feed mill available on campus for student, faculty and client use. Even though remodeled and updated numerous times, the present feed mill has far outlived its useful life and will finally be replaced.

“The new feed technology innovation center is one of K-State’s top priorities as we work to become a top 50 public research university by 2025,” said K-State President Kirk Schulz. “We are enthusiastic about the new facilities, which will benefit the industry as well as our students.”

The Kruse family of Goshen, Calif., provided the lead gift of $2 million to honor the company founder, O.H. Kruse, and to stress the importance of educating and preparing the next generation of feed industry professionals. The state of Kansas, Kansas Bioscience Authority, Kansas State University and its College of Agriculture are providing $10 million in funding required for the new facility. Additional cash and in-kind equipment donations provided the remaining resources needed for construction and equipping of the new facility.

“The decision to build a single facility and combine feed-related activities of the departments of grain science and animal sciences was made to gain efficiencies and synergies for the benefit of the teaching, research and outreach programs of both departments and the College of Agriculture,” said Gary Pierzynski, interim dean of the College of Agriculture and interim director of K-State Research and Extension.

What will ultimately be a nearly $15 million facility will include a modern, automated 5-ton per-hour production and teaching feed mill and a biosafety-level 2 teaching and research feed mill, referred to as the Cargill Feed Safety Research Center. The center will be designed so that scientists will be able to not only safely work with low-virulence pathogens like salmonella in feeds, but also use the facility for other research, teaching and outreach activities. The research center will feature a 1-ton per hour CPM pelleting system equipped with a Wenger High Intensity PreConditioner, Loss-in-Weight feeder system and a Bliss counterflow pellet cooler.

"The new feed technology innovation center is another way K-State is demonstrating it can support the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility being built in Manhattan," Schulz said.

In addition to the processing operations, the facility will contain a grain and ingredient receiving, handling and storage facility that will also allow for conducting large-scale grain storage and grain quality preservation research. All hopper-bottom steel bins are being donated by SCAFCO of Spokane, Wash. A separate fundraising effort is currently under way in partnership with the Kansas Grain and Feed Association to complete that part of the facility as a turnkey project.

"The facility will be jointly managed and will provide research diets and supplements for all university animal units as well as serve as a teaching platform for all students studying feed science and animal nutrition," said Ken Odde, head of the department of animal sciences and industry.

One of the important operating principles will be that nearly all of the labor will be provided by student employees, and many of those will be able to assume supervisory roles during their college careers. That will be extremely attractive to prospective employers of these graduates.

The preliminary design and cost estimates for the new feed technology innovation center were provided by Younglove Construction, Sioux City, Iowa. McCownGordon Construction, Kansas City, Mo., has been selected as the design-builder and ASI Industrial, Billings, Mont., will slip the tower and install the processing equipment. Other companies on the team include Treanor Architects, Lawrence, Kan.; Orazem & Scalora Engineering, Manhattan, Kan.; Schwab-Eaton, Manhattan, Kan.; and Bob D. Campbell & Co., Kansas City, Mo.

A university design team made up of faculty members from both departments and students began working on the concept of a single facility more than two years ago.     

"The design team worked with engineers and equipment vendors to identify specific machines that would meet our teaching, research and outreach needs," said Dirk Maier, head of the department of grain science and industry. "We greatly appreciate the generous support and commitment of the many equipment suppliers that are partnering with us on this project."

The feed technology innovation center will house processing equipment that will allow in-depth teaching of operational principles. For example, the center will have a full-sized Bliss Industries hammer mill and a RMS three-pair high roller mill for grinding research, teaching and production. The 5-ton per hour CPM pellet mill in the main tower will be equipped with a Bliss Industries counterflow dryer/cooler to allow research involving higher levels of moisture for pelleting research.

The main mill tower will feature two different batch mixers: a 1-ton Hayes & Stolz Twin Rotor and a 1,000-pound Forberg Twin Shaft paddle mixer that can be used for mixing studies and to provide specialty feeds on demand. Sufficient space has been designed into the facility to allow for future equipment additions. Similarly, a planned feed science and education wing that is to house laboratories, offices, meeting rooms and a state-of-the-art pet food research center will be part of a second phase of the project.

The most important benefit of the new facility will be for students. Imagine the knowledge gained by students who will watch the construction of the new feed technology innovation center on a weekly basis, participate in the commissioning process, have the chance for student employment, and participate in hands-on projects conducted in the new facility. Needless to say, current K-State students are excited by the prospects of the new facility, and it is gratifying to describe to prospective students the opportunities they will have with the new facility. Faculty members are constantly looking for ways to recruit new students into the program and to successfully prepare them for their industry careers. The new facility will improve student recruitment and preparation dramatically.

Throughout its existence, the feed science and management program at K-State has provided critical research support to the feed industry. With the new feed facility, research capability will be greatly enhanced. There is no doubt that food/feed safety has become the most critical issue facing feed manufacturers in the immediate future. However, energy efficiency, environmental issues, feed quality and nutritional performance will continue to be critically important to the feed industry and require additional research.

Kansas State University is not only making a substantial investment in this new facility, but also hiring new feed science faculty with the expertise to conduct innovative research and transfer new technologies and knowledge to the feed industry. The new O.H. Kruse Feed Technology Innovation Center is designed to accommodate nearly any type of processing research and data acquisition that is needed by an industrial client or university scientist using the new facility.

Equipment suppliers partnering with Kansas State University on the new O.H. Kruse Feed Technology Innovation Center

  • APEC USA
  • Bliss Industries
  • Bunting Magnetics
  • Cardinal Scale Manufacturing
  • CMC Industrial Electronics
  • CPM
  • EBM Manufacturing
  • Evonik Industries
  • Feed Energy Company
  • Frisbie Construction
  • Hayes & Stolz
  • Hutchinson-Mayrath /Global Industries Inc.
  • Intersystems
  • Integris USA
  • JEM International/Express Scale Parts
  • Kice Industries
  • Law-Marot-Milpro
  • RMS Roller Mill Co.
  • Salina Vortex
  • SCAFCO Grain Systems
  • Seedburo Equipment Co.
  • Screw Conveyor Company
  • Superior Boiler Works
  • Tramco
  • Venture Measurement
  • Wenger Manufacturing