May 8, 2009
The U of S has purchased a North Battleford feed mill to develop a national facility to enhance animal nutrition and feeds research, and benefit Canadian crop, livestock and feed processing industries.
According to a university media release, the new $12.6-million Canadian Feed Technology Research Facility will research, develop and commercialize high-value animal feeds made from low-value crops and from byproducts of biofuels production like ethanol and biodiesel. The Canada Foundation for Innovation, the provincial government, and industry players have all committed funding to the project.
“This new research centre will benefit both animal and human health and help make the U of S an international leader in feeds processing research and commercialization,” said Karen Chad, acting vice-president of research, said the facility, expected to begin operation in the late summer or early fall of 2010, will also provide training for undergraduate and graduate students as well as for producers and feed processors. More than 25 researchers and 30 graduate students from many disciplines will use the facility.
Plans are to begin renovation of the existing feed mill in July. To offset the costs of building maintenance and research programs, part of the facility’s industrial capacity has been licensed to Cargill for commercial feed processing.
Project leader Bernard Laarveld from the Department of Animal and Poultry Science in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources, said the feed mill provides an strong research base for the university because it will accommodate the wide range of activity, from laboratories to a pilot plant to industrial-scale research. The mill will also offer contract research opportunities to the private sector.
“Researchers are extremely keen to use this centre as it will advance research in many areas that include crop breeding for feed quality traits, reduced antibiotic use, better livestock nutrition, improved animal health and product safety, feed delivery of vaccines for disease control, environmental protection, and higher-value commodity crops,” Laarveld said.