Illinois Pork Producers Boost Support of Animal Feed Innovation

The Illinois Pork Producers Association is helping to fund a new animal feed research facility at the University of Illinois, expanding a decades-long relationship between the school and association.

As it launches an expanded partnership with a major university, the Illinois Pork Producers Association is hoping to uncover new innovations in animal feed.

Last week, IPPA announced that it will bolster its relationship with the University of Illinois’ College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences by financially supporting a new Feed Technology Center near the university’s Urbana campus.

The school has pledged $6 million toward the $20 million cost of the center, and donors, such as IPPA, are being lined up to pay for the rest. Construction started last summer.

“Private gifts, such as this commitment from Illinois Pork, assist with sustaining and advancing the valuable discoveries, training, and translation this facility will support,” said Rodney Johnson, who heads the school’s Department of Animal Sciences, in a news release. “We welcome other stakeholders to join us in this investment.”

It’s part of an ongoing effort by the department to collaborate with the state’s pork industry, dating back as far as the 1950s and helping to produce many of the sector’s key innovations for improving pork production, such as corn- and soybean-based diets and indoor swine-production units. “Our relationship with Illinois Pork has been incredibly important for advancing the swine industry in the state and nation,” Johnson added.

IPPA President Pam Janssen noted that the effort could help prevent the spread of disease.

“We are confident that our contribution will benefit the pork industry in Illinois and beyond,” Janssen said in the release. “With the threat of foreign animal disease transferring through feed ingredients, we welcome more research in that capacity.”

(Handout photo)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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