The state-of-the-art Feedstock Processing Research Facility, or Feed Mill, provides the quality, nutritional value and precision mixing of feeds needed to support internationally recognized CFAES livestock and poultry research programs. The ability of Feed Mill staff to produce specialty diets according to exact specifications on-site boosts the quality of research and gives scientists a competitive edge to attract grants. Students receive hands-on experience as they learn about feed and grain handling in the field of animal nutrition. The facility has the ability to handle 8,000 tons of feed per year.
The Feed Mill supports the work of researchers in the Department of Animal Sciences; the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering; the Food Animal Health Research Program; as well as the Ohio State ATI. It produces over 200 different rations; both general herd rations and experimental diets for the livestock and poultry operations on the Wooster and Columbus campuses and at three outlying agricultural research stations throughout the state. Feed Mill staff assist CFAES faculty, staff, and students with developing feed ration formulas and procuring feed ingredients not normally stocked in the Feed Mill inventory. They also assist animal facility managers with feed handling problems.
All the corn coming into the mill is produced at the Farm Science Review site at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center. This ensures a consistent product for research purposes. The feed mill receives other grain from plant science research departments that is a byproduct of field research projects. All grain is tested for moisture, temperature and bushel weight using a Steinlite SL95 moisture meter.
Four sizes of mixers allow the preparation of various batch sizes for research purposes: two in-floor mounted Hayes and Soltz twin-ribbon horizontal shaft mixers with 4,000 and 1,000-pound capacities; and both 140-quart and 30-quart Hobart paddle-style mixers. All mixers are vacuumed between batches to prevent crosscontamination of different feeds. A climate controlled premix room is available to store all vitamins, medications and micro minerals.
Precise grinding of major ingredients is achieved through a Roskamp DP999-36 roller mill, providing researchers the ability to compare the effect of different particle sizes on digestibility and animal performance.
To make pellets, feed is mixed with steam, then fed through dies in the California Pellet Mill PM1116-4, rated at seven tons per hour. Pellets are cooled to 65 degrees, then either sent through the BM&M pellet screener or made into crumbles using the PC837SS crumbler unit.
Bucket Elevators and Conveyors
Feed ingredients are moved throughout the facility by four Sweet Manufacturing Co. bucket elevators and 16 round-bottom drag conveyors, which provide for a maximum cleanout of material to prevent cross-contamination between batches.
Computer-Controlled Automation and Fire Safety Systems
A state-of-the-art computerized control system from WEM Automation runs much of the equipment in the facility. The facility incorporates the latest safety equipment, including bearing temperature monitors, smoke and heat detection and alarm systems, and other structures required by State of Ohio building codes.
Trucks and Transportation
Two trucks are available for hauling ingredients and finished feeds: A Kenworth bulk feed truck and a Freightliner box truck. The Kenworth was specially designed and is capable of holding two full pallets of bagged feed in addition to bulk feed. Feed mill staff deliver bulk feed to animal facilities at Wooster, Columbus, and the Statewide Research Stations (Eastern, Southern, Jackson, Western), as well as bagged feed to Columbus and Statewide Research Stations. They also transport supplies, vehicles, and equipment for the academic departments and Facilities Services to and from the various locations where feed trucks make deliveries.