URBANA, Ill. – Governor Pat Quinn announced today that the University of Illinois will receive $3.5 million for a new Feed Technology Complex on the U of I’s South Farms. The state-of-the-art complex will replace the university’s century-old feed mill.
“The Feed Technology Complex will help the University of Illinois maintain its reputation for excellence in animal science research and education,” Governor Quinn said at a press conference. “The world-class research conducted at the University of Illinois is key to attracting businesses and supporting agricultural and economic growth in Illinois.”
The facility will give students and faculty the ability to process customized animal feeds and will support world-class research and educational programs in crop and animal sciences, nutrition, and food science at the university. The facility will be used to develop and test new technologies that can be applied to the manufacture of animal and human foods, and will support research on safe food production, animal nutrition and sustainable livestock practices.
The total estimated cost of the project is $13.3 million. Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) has agreed to donate $1.5 million for the project.
“This facility will support our programs in animal nutrition, bioprocessing, and bioenergy,” said Robert J. Hauser, dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) at the U of I. “It will be the central, critical element that supports the research and training programs of tomorrow’s entrepreneurs in modern agricultural industries.
“Our graduates are aggressively recruited to fill positions in the food manufacturing, feed technology, bioenergy, and livestock industries,” Hauser said. “The Feed Technology Complex, designed to meet precise animal nutrition parameters and specialized feed preparation, is a linchpin of discovery research and education in the areas of food security and safety, alternative energy forms, and health issues such as obesity, cancer, and healthy aging.”
Hauser added that the project would not be possible without support from ADM, agricultural commodity organizations in Illinois, private donors, and this funding from the state of Illinois.
ACES Associate Dean for Research Neal R. Merchen echoed the importance of financial investment from partners to create the Feed Technology Complex. “This partnership will create a new paradigm not only for development of a capital project but for the kind of educational programming that will take place in the Feed Technology Complex,” Merchen said. “Collaborative research and student training involving both the university and ADM, which is one of the world’s largest agricultural processors and food ingredient providers, will address problems of great relevance to feed manufacturers and serve as exercises in training a new generation of feed technologists. The new Feed Technology Complex will be the centerpiece of a training platform that will create jobs and provide skilled workers to the industry.”
The funding is part of Quinn’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program.