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K-State Today

June 11, 2012

Feed science and management program adds pet foods emphasis

Submitted by Elaine Edwards

Officials at Kansas State University say the expansion of the feed science and management program to include pet food production will help add value to agricultural products.

Dirk Maier, head of the university’s grain science and industry department, announced the appointment of Greg Aldrich as research associate professor and pet food program coordinator.

 “Bringing Greg on board is the next step to expanding the reach of our feed science and management program,” Maier said. “We hope to leverage his background and personal interest in Kansas State to help guide the program through its beginning years.”

Initially Aldrich will be responsible for establishing a first of its kind interdisciplinary pet food research program. He will provide guidance on course development, and work with university and allied industry stakeholders to assimilate support for broader program development.

Aldrich is a graduate of K-State, earning a bachelor's in agriculture in 1984, and an industry consultant from Topeka with extensive pet food production experience.

 “Many of the parts for a great pet food research and teaching program are already here at Kansas State,” Aldrich said. “I look forward to establishing a vibrant research program and to helping establish Kansas State as the leader in this vital and growing area of our economy.”

Ernie Minton, associate director of research for K-State Research and Extension, said that adding pet food research expands the opportunities for adding value to agricultural products from Kansas and extends the scope of research in the biosafety level two feed safety research center being built as part of the new O.H. Kruse Feed Technology Innovation Center on the north end of the Manhattan campus.

Ken Odde, professor and head of K-State Animal Sciences and Industry, said that adding the pet food research and teaching program provides additional course and curriculum options for a growing student population with expressed interest in small and exotic animal species all across campus.

For more information about the program and specific course offerings, call 785-532-4051 or go to the department's website.

Pet Food is $19B Industry

The U.S. pet food industry is a $19 billion dollar industry producing more than 8 million metric tons annually to feed more than 375 million dogs, cats and other companion animals living in 2 out of 3 American homes.

The grain science and industry department was established in 1910 and is recognized globally for its research, teaching and outreach in bakery, milling, feed and grain sciences and technology.