DENVER — Ardent Mills is gifting $3.5 million to Kansas State University’s Ag Innovation Initiative, which is the university’s name for its ag infrastructure upgrades including grain science and industry teaching and research components. The funds will be paid out over the next five years to support KSU’s Grain Science and Industry Department’s growth, research and development capabilities through 2026.

“Ardent Mills is passionate about cultivating an innovative future for our industry and is committed to help grow our future leaders,” said Troy Anderson, vice president of operations at Ardent Mills. “That’s why this partnership with K-State’s Ag Innovation Initiative excites us. The evolving interdisciplinary and collaborative approach, along with new facilities, will enable exceptional, diverse talent development and best-in-class research to help solve food and agriculture challenges today and for generations to come.”

As part of its gift, Ardent Mills said it will collaborate with KSU’s College of Agriculture leadership to establish baseline metrics and goals associated with total student enrollment, recruitment and retention of diverse students. The company also plans to work to create leadership development opportunities within the university’s milling and baking science programs.

“We want to thank Ardent Mills for their generous gift, which aligns with our vision of working closely with private industry to develop and diversify Kansas and the world’s food and agricultural economy,” said Ernie Minton, dean of the College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension. “This gift from Ardent Mills shows their support for expanding and improving the College of Agriculture’s world-class status and programs, further elevating us as a leading, top-ranked college that attracts diverse agriculturists and researchers.”

KSU earlier this yearunveiled it has raised $81.4 million to initiate phase one of an infrastructure upgradeof several departments within the College of Agriculture, including the Department of Grain Science and Industry.