Feed center partners excited about possibilities – AgriNews

URBANA, Ill. — Academia, industry and commodity group representatives joined via remote video to celebrate the opening of the new Feed Technology Center at the University of Illinois.

The state-of-the-art facility is dedicated to advancing feed technology and animal nutrition in partnership with grain, livestock, companion animal and feed industries.

Here’s what some of the stakeholders had to say about this unique facility.

“This is the first of many moves we hope to make to create a vital southern portal to campus. One of the best things about this new facility is that we can bring people in from all over the world to participate in continuing education, trainings on different technology and feed science and livestock nutrition. It will be an exciting place to bring industry and academia together to train people in the cutting-edge technologies and feed science from all over the world.”

Kim Kidwell, dean

U of I College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

“One of the reasons we’re so excited about this new facility is the capabilities it’s going to provide us and in helping to feed the world. The world population is growing, expecting to hit about 10 billion by 2050. That’s a lot of people to feed. Just as important to us as an animal science department is the recognition that the demand for animal protein is growing and this is largely due to the increase in the number of people moving away from poverty into the middle class at record numbers and when people have more disposable income they choose to incorporate more animal protein into their diet. So, we actually anticipate not only needing to feed more people, but we expect those people to have increased demand for animal protein such that we’re expecting the demand to double in the next 20 to 30 years. The Feed Technology Center is going to have an important role in meeting the demand because it’s going to allow us to do exciting new research to increase the efficiency of animal growth and production. We’re going to be able to do different types of processing of feed ingredients that today perhaps have low nutritional value, but through the processing we can increase the availability from these poor feedstuffs. The goal really is to allow us to feed more animals, produce more animal protein, with less input, and that’s really important for having a system that is sustainable, as well.”

Rod Johnson, professor and head

U of I Department of Animal Sciences

“We’re excited to be part of building of the future of feed, working with the incredible U of I staff at the Feed Technology Center. This facility is a great platform for leveraging Bühler’s technology solutions, both state-of-the-art equipment and digital services, to create sustainable and transparent processes that help feed the world. As digital connectivity becomes ever more important in the production of food, we’re confident that the combination of Bühler grain processing equipment working in conjunction with our newest digital products, like Bühler insights and the NIR grain quality system will facilitate research, enhance diet quality and production efficiency.”

Andy Sharp, president and CEO

Bühler North America

“The University of Illinois Feed Technology Center is a global hub for new discoveries and advancement in animal management, nutrition and feed production. Vortex is proud to partner with industry thought leaders to find innovative solutions for a food supply chain today and for generations to come. At Vortex, we strive to engineer the world’s most advanced flow and dust control equipment to make feed production as efficient and safe as possible. It’s an honor to join forces with the University of Illinois to make our world a better place.”

Travis Young, president and CEO


“On behalf of my fellow directors, we are pleased that the Illinois Pork Producers Association could contribute to the Feed Technology Center. We value cutting-edge research and innovation that makes us better farmers and helps us raise a higher quality product. We also strongly believe in providing tools to students that will better prepare them for the workforce and encourage them to pursue a career in the livestock industry. We are excited to see what the future holds.”

Alan Kollmann, president

Illinois Pork Producers Association

“This modern facility will support advances in Illinois agriculture, our state’s No. 1 industry. It will also assist in preparing students for careers utilizing new ag technologies and improved research capabilities. As livestock farms expand and grow their operations, we see a greater need for young individuals or employment on the farm utilizing these ag technologies in their own feed systems that blend and grind their own rations for their own operations and then distribute it out to their other facilities that may be in another county or two away.”

Richard Guebert Jr., president

Illinois Farm Bureau

“The state-of-the-art facility will advance the university’s tradition of animal nutrition innovation and it will give tomorrow’s leaders in agriculture the opportunity for hands-on educational experiences with the latest equipment including GSI grain storage and material handling. AGCO’s vision is to provide sustainable high-tech solutions for farmers feeding the world. The work done at the Feed Technology Center will support this vision by impacting the animal nutrition industry on a global scale.”

Hans Lehmann, vice president and general manager

AGCO Grain & Protein North & South America

“The University of Illinois new Feed Technology Center provides a great opportunity for students and faculty to touch and feel the world of agriculture up close. This center will change the future of animal nutrition, animal sciences, grain storage and processing not only for our clients in Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota, but for people across the globe. We really value the relationship that Compeer Financial has with the university and all that the College of ACES does to promote innovations, technology, and research and agriculture.”

Karen Schieler, senior corporate giving specialist

Compeer Financial Fund for Rural America

“We’re proud to have supported the Feed Technology Center with a $2.5 million donation to help develop future leaders in the space. As the project nears completion, we look forward to our productive research collaboration, strengthening our relationships with the animal nutrition staff and bolstering the robust pipeline of talent from the university. By leveraging the center’s capabilities, collectively we can draw more students to the field of animal science. What’s more, we’re excited to develop new products, services and solutions together benefiting producers and consumers globally. The feed industry is ever-changing with higher expectations. Consumers expect livestock to be fed and raised naturally, humanely and sustainably. Producers want to ensure their animals are getting the highest quality nutrition and they want to do so in the most economic way.”

Ryan Lane, president

ADM Animal Nutrition, North America

“We consider it a privilege to support the University of Illinois in its continuous advancement of animal nutrition and share the university’s commitment to investing in technology and research that paves the way for the future of animal health. At Alltech, we have a mission. We call it working together for a planet of plenty. And that requires that we inspire the next generation of researchers to apply their innovative spirit to animal sciences. The most critical aspects of that partnership, working together with groups like the University of Illinois. This helps us to continue the advancement of precision nutrition in animal agriculture that will be critical to achieving greater sustainability throughout the industry.”

Mark Lyons, president and CEO


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