AMES, Iowa – A groundbreaking ceremony was held Friday at what will become the Kent Corporation Feed Mill and Grain Science Complex at Iowa State University, marking the beginning of construction on a facility for hands-on student learning and faculty research. Two years ago, Kent Corporation pledged to donate $8 million to the project, making it the company’s largest gift to date.
As ISU’s campus buzzed with excitement in preparation of Saturday’s football game against the Iowa Hawkeyes – and ESPN College GameDay’s first ever visit to Ames – Kent and other officials gathered south of Highway 30, across the street from the ISU Research Foundation. The 10 acres of land, managed by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is located on the southwest corner of ISU’s campus. It has been the site of crop research, seed operations and crop yield performance trials for more than 50 years.
“The Kent Corporation Feed Mill and Grain Science Complex will be a world-class, state-of-the-art facility used by faculty and staff to prepare students, train industry professionals and conduct impactful research that will make Iowa State a recognized leader in support of the feed industry,” said Daniel J. Robison, holder of the Endowed Dean’s Chair in ISU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Officials with the Iowa Corn Promotion Board and Sukup Manufacturing, which together donated $6 million to the facility, were also present for Friday afternoon’s event.
Once completed, the research facility will include a feed mill tower, feed milling and mixing structures, grain storage bins and a one-story classroom and laboratory building. Short courses will be taught there, research will be conducted, and feeds will be prepared to meet the dietary requirements of animals housed at various university teaching and research farms in the Ames area.
Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen thanked the donors for their investment and said the complex will be a new venue for continuing education and extension programs, as well as providing critical, hands-on learning experiences for students across several agricultural majors.
Project donations from the Kent Corporation, Iowa Corn Promotion Board and Sukup Manufacturing Co. are part of the Forever True, For Iowa State campaign, which has a historic goal to raise $1.5 billion by 2021 to make ISU the premier land-grant university for the 21st century and beyond.