CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — The Champaign Urbana Community has watched the construction of the tall structure south of town, wondering what goes on there. Stu Ellis takes us there in his report– From the Farm.
University livestock on the South Farms need to be fed, and the new University Feed Tech Center is where it originates.
“We make all of the maintenance diets and research diets for university animals, primarily swine, poultry, beef, and dairy. But anytime there is any nutrition research going on for any agricultural animal we make that feed here. Within reason, as long as we’re not going too far off the path, we can find a way to make it work here,” said Michaela Braun, University Feed Tech Center manager.
“We have a lot of state-of-the-art stuff here; we have a lot of donated pieces. A majority of it is something that is brand new. We have ways to create all of these things and put them all together. It’s a very unique facility,” said Braun.
Not just for compounding feed but teaching students.
“We are hoping to get students out here fairly quickly so we can have more of a hands-on learning environment. The benefit of being a university facility is that we can have students out here and have them apply what they have learned in the classroom and put it into real hands-on techniques,” Braun explained.
The grain bins, donated by GSI, will store corn used in the feed mill.
“All of our corn here is U of I South Farms corn so its all internal, all of the other ingredients we get from external suppliers, with the exception of research ingredients that are provided through research grants everything else is just like a traditional feed mill where you would source them from suppliers,” Braun stated.
“There’s not a whole lot that we don’t do, per se because researchers come in with an idea and want to apply it and we need to figure out a way to make it work so we can create more ideas down the line so we can keep furthering the research process,” said Braun. “So you answer one question, you come up with 3 more. So being able to say yes, and being able to try things is what we like to do.”
Michaela joins us again Monday as we explore the interior and follow the feed making process.