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Illinois Feed Technology Center
The University of Illinois has begun a new era in animal nutrition innovation. A state-of-the-art Feed Technology Center is under construction south of the campus. The current feed mill on campus was built in the 1920’s. It’s still a functioning feed mill but badly outdated for academic programs.
Rodney Johnson is the head of the university’s Department of Animal Science. He says it will be an asset for the growing needs of academics, research, and industry outreach.
"We have a very strong program in animal nutrition, so it’s very much a research and teaching facility. It’s not scaled like you would see at a commercial feed mill, but rather it’s small-scale and designed to produce small-batch diets that are needed for research experiments," says Johnson. " And, doing outreach programs to work with our stakeholders to develop industry-relevant workshops."
The new center will be used to design and test healthy, efficient diets for livestock and for pets.
"In what will be certainly new to us is the ability to develop extruded diets. This is very important to our department, we have one of the leading programs in companion animal nutrition," he says. "And when our extrusion line is fully functional, we’ll have the ability to manufacture pet food diets to support that line of research as well."
The anticipated opening of the facility is August or September of 2020.