O.H. Kruse Feed Technology Innovation CenterKansas State University
“As of now, there are no facilities like this anywhere in our hemisphere.”
The O.H. Kruse Feed Technology Innovation Center is the latest facility at the Kansas State University Grain Science Complex and is set to be a world class teaching and research facility focused on the safety and quality of the nation’s food supply. It supports both the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry and the feed sciences and management program, while allowing K-State to further develop the Department of Grain Science and Industry. This is the only degree-granting program in the U.S. for undergraduate degrees in feed science and management, milling science and management, and bakery science and management. The new Feed Technology Innovation Center is conservatively expected to double the university’s current feed science enrollment.
The O.H. Kruse Feed Technology Innovation Center produces all the research feeds needed for the Department of Animal Science on its research farms, and permits contract and graduate level research and feed related teaching preformed by the Department of Grain Science. It is anticipated that approximately 6,000 tons of ingredients will pass through the facility each year; most of which will be finished feeds, though a significant portion will be cleaned grain or other ingredients needed at the various animal facilities.
All traditional feed processes will be included, as well as cutting-edge processes for aquaculture feed, companion and zoo animal food production, and research. Sufficiently large grain storage capacity will be included to facilitate grain quality preservation, improved research and outreach training. All storage bins are equipped with aeration to facilitate typical harvest conditions yet preserve grain quality. The design provides flexible open space around the original equipment in the main mill tower to allow new equipment and prototypes to be installed for beta testing. The area around the processing equipment also allows space for educational groups to gather and observe the equipment in operation or during maintenance.
In addition to the primary production, teaching, and research feed mill area, the facility also includes a teaching and research laboratory, the Cargill Feed Safety Research Center. This BSL-2 (BioSafety Level-2) facility provides a controlled research capability for low-level pathogenic organisms such as Salmonella and E-coli sometimes found in feeds and ingredients, and allows research focused on feed processing technologies to sterilize feed and lower bacterial and viral introduction to livestock operations and the food chain. Currently, there are no facilities of any significant scale in the U.S. that can conduct such research.
Food and feed safety and security have become a strategic initiative for Kansas State University, further contributing to it becoming a Top 50 public research university by 2025. This new research facility is a partnership between the University and global grain, feed and livestock industry. It will further the areas of animal nutrition, feed and food safety and the control of food-borne pathogens – factors of growing importance in human health and wellness, and will be a valuable resource to the pharmaceutical industry as well as KSU’s own animal science and veterinary faculty.