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Animal feed mill benefits research

Published on 1 February, 2007, Last updated at 14:08 GMT

By Tom Over

More than $5.5 million was approved last week for the construction of a new Wooster feed mill run by the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center at Ohio State.

Because the current feed mill is obsolete and worn out, Steve Slack, director of OARDC, said OSU needs a new feed mill to study the nutrition of livestock animals such as dairy cows, poultry and swine. The funding for the project was approved by the Ohio controlling board, which administers state funds.

He said the mill produces feed for a couple thousand animals that are part of OSU agricultural research programs. None of the animal feed is sold commercially.

"(The current mill) is 40 years old. Replacement parts are expensive or not available and repair costs are escalating," Slack said.

He said research on farm animal feed is important not only in terms of the animal products people eat, but also in terms of what animal nutrition tells us about human nutrition.

"Most of our nutritional knowledge for humans is based on pioneering work with animals in the early last century," he said.

Slack said to do research OSU needs a feed mill that is in good working condition.

"The quality and purity of the formulated feed is critical to being able to do good science," he said.

Slack also said if OSU did not have its own feed mill its agricultural research would be hindered.

"The specialized nature of this work and the low volumes needed in many cases make it impractical to obtain this feed commercially," Slack said.

Slack said he expects the new feed mill to be running sometime in 2008.


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