From the Farm: New UIUC feed technology center offers students hands-on experience

The Morning Show

URBANA-CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — University livestock on the South Farms need to be fed, and the new UIUC 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,” says center manager Michaela Braun. “Within reason, as long as we’re not going too far off the path, we can find a way to make it work here.

“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.”

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,” Braun says. “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.”

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 it’s 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,” says Braun.

“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. So you answer one question, you come up with three more. So being able to say yes, and being able to try things is what we like to do.”

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