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K-State Today

August 25, 2016

Faculty, students urged to join 'Pet Food Experience' Sept. 14-15

Submitted by Pat Melgares

Kansas State University's growing expertise in the pet food industry is helping to provide numerous opportunities for faculty and students.

Registration is still open for the Petfood Innovation Workshop and K-State Pet Food Experience on Sept. 14-15 in Manhattan. The hands-on workshop provides a chance to connect the university's burgeoning research presence with the needs of the pet food industry.

The events are open to students and faculty. Registration is limited to the first 200 participants.

This year's Petfood Innovation Workshop will focus on meat and novel proteins. Participants will have an opportunity for hands-on experience making pet food. The K-State Pet Food Experience will feature educational sessions led by faculty and students, who will showcase their latest pet food research and expertise.

Greg Aldrich, research associate professor of grain science and industry, said the events also can help students connect with faculty and industry professionals to gain knowledge and hands-on experience in nutrition, extrusion, canning, baking, sensory analysis, animal health, economic analysis and food supply chain management.

He noted that developing pet food is value-added agriculture and taking agricultural commodities or the co-products from the meat and grain milling industries and turning those into healthy, nutritious pet food products.

Globally, pet owners spend more than $60 billion on their furry friends. Of that, about $23 billion goes toward pet food, and estimates for Kansas indicate that pet food contributes as much as $7 billion to the state's economy.