The highly anticipated University of Illinois Feed Technology Center is set to greatly improve the university’s capabilities in animal nutrition. Now, with the gift of a Wenger extruder and auxiliary processing equipment from global animal health and nutrition company Alltech, those capabilities will be expanded even further.
Researchers in the Department of Animal Sciences in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, as well as other units across the university, will use the new Feed Technology Center to prepare and test experimental diets for animals. The facility will also serve as a launch pad for bigger-picture work designed to advance precision animal agriculture throughout the industry.
“The ability to prepare extruded diets in the new Feed Technology Center will significantly expand our capabilities, especially as it relates to companion animal nutrition. Our faculty is well-known for its innovative research in companion animal nutrition. The generous gift from Alltech will allow us to manufacture unique pet foods and treats as we search for ways to improve the health and wellbeing of animals,” says Rodney Johnson, head of the Department of Animal Sciences at U of I.
Upon completion of construction, estimated in August 2020, the Feed Technology Center will be capable of delivering specialized small-batch research diets, along with numerous interdependent capabilities integrated to provide full system services. High-performance extrusion equipment will be a key component in fulfilling these capabilities.
Headquartered near Lexington, Kentucky, Alltech is a leading producer and processor of yeast additives, organic trace minerals, feed ingredients, premix and feed.
“A world of abundance depends on inspiring researchers to apply their innovative spirit to the agriculture industry,” says Mark Lyons, president and CEO of Alltech. “We consider it a privilege to support the University of Illinois in its continuous advancement of animal nutrition.”
Kimberley Meenen, assistant dean for advancement in the College of ACES, says, “Donors like Alltech are committing to continuing the university’s preeminence in animal nutrition and feed manufacturing. This facility will make possible animal nutrition innovations that may not have even been considered at this point.”