This fall, students in TSM 455/555 Feed Processing and Technology gained firsthand experience with feed manufacturing operations including grinding, batching, mixing and pelleting. Nine graduate students and three undergraduate students were able to use the equipment in the Center for Crops Utilization Research's (CCUR) Dry Processing Pilot Plant, which included the roller mill, hammermill, ribbon mixer and pellet mill.
The class, offered for the first time this semester, teaches students about the animal feed industry and goes in-depth on the various unit operations of the feed manufacturing process. After students learn about a unit operation in lecture, they apply the theories in a lab setting. Every student operates the equipment and can see for themselves how the theory is transferred into real life. Further discussion in class illustrates the impact each operation has on feed safety, animal performance, feed mill operations and profitability.
Dirk Maier, professor of agricultural and biosytems engineering (ABE), and Sam Cook, a lecturer in ABE, co-taught the class. Hui Wang, CCUR pilot plant manager, and Ethan Wiegle, CCUR assistant pilot plant manager, helped set up and test the equipment and assisted with the labs.
Recently, Kent Corporation, the Iowa Corn Promotion Board and Sukup Manufacturing Co. gave generous gifts in support of a new educational and research facility for feed milling and grain science. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences faculty have been developing a new minor in feed technology to better prepare students to meet the growing demand for highly skilled professionals in the feed and grain operations. The new complex will provide hands-on learning experiences for students across several agricultural majors, provide a venue for continuing education and extension programs for employees in feed milling and grain industries, and centralize feed production close to university animal teaching and research farms.
Read more about the feed mill and grain science project here: http://www.cals.iastate.edu/news/releases/14-million-committed-kent-corporation-iowa-corn-promotion-board-and-sukup.