New mixer, automation system and micro-ingredient system added to Fargo facility.

FARGO, N.D. — The Northern Crops Institute (N.C.I.) has completed a major equipment upgrade at its Feed Production Center in Fargo. The upgrade includes the installation of a new mixer, a new automation system, and a micro-ingredient system.

More than 75% of the $800,000 costs of the upgrade were covered by commodity groups and private industry donations, said Mark Weber, director of the N.C.I. Donors included The Essmueller Co., Intersystems, Inc., and Seedburo Equipment Co.

Funding for the project was a collaborative effort between an initial $100,000 appropriation by the North Dakota Legislature, North Dakota corn and soybean commodity groups, and the feed industry’s equipment manufacturers.

The Feed Production Center provides training courses and serves as a training facility for undergraduate and graduate students. In addition, the center serves as a feed mill for the university’s animal units as well as research projects.

“This renovation was necessary to aid the education capabilities of N.C.I.,” said Kim Koch, Ph.D., manager of the N.C.I. Feed Center. “The two primary goals of the Feed Center are to teach feed manufacturers and to make feed for the N.D.S.U. animals. Our previous system made good feed, but it was not the kind of system on which you want to train people for the modern feed industry.”

North Dakota has become one of the largest soybean producing states in the country, and the upgrade helps prepare students for entering and furthering the industry as well as contributing to improving the quality of feed going into the market itself, the N.C.I. said.