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U of S Feed Research Centre officially opens

13 November 2014

The new University of Saskatchewan Feed Research Centre in North Battleford has officially opened.

CFRC Grand Opening

 

U of S Feed Research Centre officially opens
By John Cairns Staff Reporter

The new University of Saskatchewan Feed Research Centre in North Battleford has officially opened.

Grand opening ceremonies took place Friday at the Western Development Museum, and was followed up by a tour
of the feed mill facility located at Marquis Avenue in the city’s Parsons Industrial Park.

Funding for the project includes $5 million from the Saskatchewan government, $4.88 million from the Canada
Foundation for Innovation, $2.46 million from Cargill, $911,544 from Western Economic Diversification and
$600,000 from the University of Saskatchewan and its suppliers.

The newly-opened facility is already being touted as one of the world’s leading centres for animal feed research
and development, with a role to research and develop new and better high-value feeds.

“This really is a great opportunity to answer many many questions about how feed processing can improve the
quality of low-quality ingredients to produce animal proteins safely and more consistently,” said Dr. Tom Scott,
research chair in feed processing technology with the University of Saskatchewan.

The facility features many types of equipment that will allow researchers to study and understand what is
happening with feed.

Its features, according to Scott, include a “pilot-scale line for doing very intricate controlled research, but we also
have a commercial line where we can take projects from the pilot scale line to commercialization and
demonstration much easier.”

In their pilot scale line is a steam flaker, which Scott said is the only one in the feed industry in Saskatchewan.

Also included in the facility, said Scott, are various means of doing particle-size reduction, three different hammer
mills for breaking up particles, four pair roller mills – the first one in Canada for doing different reductions in grain
and other particles – and a choice of mixers. There is a commercial mixer that can go up to three tons per mix, a
pilot scale mixer that can go up to 500 kilos per mix and a lab mixer that goes up for 200 kilos per mix, he said.

There are also pelleters that can go from one ton per hour, four ton per hour and 20 ton per hour. There is also an
extrusion facility, and new vacuum-coating technology that can be used to increase oil content in agriculture feed
up to 30 per cent.

Among the most impressive aspects of the more than 15,000-square-foot facility for those on the tour that morning
was the feed-sorting machine that has been in place for a couple of years. The seed sorter uses infrared light to
sort wheat, durum and barley and is the first of its kind in North America.

The machine is touted as maximizing value, quality and safety. “It processes 30,000 seeds a second which
translates into three tons an hour,” said Scott.

“We’re now evaluating that to remove fusarium-damaged kernels that’s impacting the crops quite severely this
year, but also any low-quality grain, we can salvage the high-quality grain out of that and potentially increase the
value to the consumers quite significantly,” he said.

North Battleford is considered an ideal location for the Canadian Feed Research Centre because of its proximity to
two inland terminals, so “we can get any grain we want,” said Scott.

The feed mill itself is a state-of-the-art facility that became available when Stomp Pork Farm Ltd. was liquidating its
assets during the feed crisis in 2007-08.

The university bought it, with intentions to develop a world-class feed facility there, and work began on renovating
the facility.

Among the partners heavily involved was Cargill, who participated in the design-build.

“It was an important project for us to get involved in in terms of community investment, the development of young
talented people, the promotion of innovation and research for the benefit of our customers,��� said Jennifer
Henderson, managing director for Cargill Animal Nutrition Western Canada.

She noted Cargill had hoped to work with the university on a project like this and it finally moved forward after the
Canada Foundation for Innovation got involved in 2009.

In addition to establishing North Battleford as a major centre for innovation in feed research, economic benefits are
being cited.

According to a news release from the university, the estimate is the Canadian Feed Research Centre will contribute
more than $2 million to the nation’s GDP through benefits to the crop and livestock industry and indirectly through
employment.

In terms of employment, four to eight research professionals are to be based there, but the research centre is
expected to attract even more students and industry professionals from outside the community for education and
training.

Six masters-level students are involved at the facility right now. Other students will also do training there, with plans
for undergraduates to travel to North Battleford for a full day on weekends to get hands-on exposure there.
The plan is for industry people to also use the facility in order to get their industry certifications.

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