If you’ve driven into Ames from the west during the past couple years, you’ve probably seen a large concrete structure rising out of the ground along Highway 30. 

The impressive 100-foot-tall building is the feed mill tower on the site of Iowa State University’s new Kent Corporation Feed Mill and Grain Science Complex, which was officially dedicated earlier this month. The dedication marked the culmination of more than six years of planning and construction on the complex. The facility was funded by private donations and features modern technologies in feed milling and grain science, including grain storage and handling, animal well-being and health, food safety and environmental standards. It will support hands-on training, research and extension activities for students and industry trainees. 

That’s important in a state where the feed industry generates more than $20 billion in sales and more than 58,000 jobs. Due to its strong livestock industry, Iowa leads the nation in the amount of animal feed consumed at more than 21 million tons a year. 

Just as the feed mill reached completion, Iowa State hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for another new facility that will serve agriculture students and businesses. The Alliant Energy Agriculture Innovation Lab will be used by ISU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Digital Ag Innovation team to tackle agriculture technology challenges. ISU’s Digital Ag Innovation Team is responsible for 50% of industry research done at ISU and holds more than 70 patents and technology transfer outcomes. 

Projects like these will help ensure Iowa State maintains its standing as one of the top agricultural colleges in the country, and benefit future ISU students for generations to come.