URBANA, Ill. – Continuing its longstanding support of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois, the Illinois Farm Bureau today announced a financial commitment to the new Feed Technology Center to be built south of campus.
“The Illinois Farm Bureau’s collaborative relationship with the College of ACES is long and impactful,” says Rodney Johnson, head of the Department of Animal Sciences at U of I. “Their financial support – the first significant cash gift from one of our private partners – moves the Feed Technology Center forward in becoming the national hub for new discoveries and advancement in animal nutrition utilizing traditional and novel ingredients.”
College of ACES researchers have shaped the feed and crop production industries for decades in partnership with Illinois farmers. As a prime example, Illinois animal scientists pioneered the modern corn-soybean-meal diet for livestock and poultry in use nationwide, using Illinois’ top crop products. According to Johnson, the new Feed Technology Center will further strengthen relationships between the college, industry, and producers, and make possible animal nutrition innovations that could impact the agricultural industry on a global scale.
“Breaking ground on the new Feed Technology Center is a top priority for the College of ACES. As a long-time partner, IFB wanted to show our support for this effort” said IFB President Rich Guebert. “We view our funding as an investment in the future of agriculture in Illinois.”
A unique public-private partnership, similar to a lease-to-own arrangement, will enable the long-awaited construction project to begin this summer in the ACES Legacy Corridor, as part of the Campus Master Plan. The University of Illinois and the College of ACES have committed $6 million toward the $20 million project, with private partners invited to contribute toward the balance.
“Private gifts, such as this commitment from Illinois Farm Bureau, assist with sustaining and advancing the valuable discoveries, training, and translation this facility will support,” Johnson says. “We welcome other stakeholders to join us in this investment.”
College of ACES dean, Kim Kidwell, adds, “We are truly grateful to the Illinois Farm Bureau for making this generous donation in support of the advancement of feed science innovation, which will benefit both livestock and crop producers across the region. This gift reflects the success of our longstanding partnership with the Illinois Farm Bureau to advance Illinois agriculture through research, education, and outreach.”