The groundbreaking ceremony for the O.H. Kruse Feed Mill and BioRefinery Teaching and Research Facility last Saturday evening was huge for the Grain Science and Industry department.
"We have been thinking about this for 20 years," said Keith Behnke, professor in the department of grain science and industry and host of the ceremony.
Ron Kruse, who donated to the facility, said getting to the groundbreaking took longer than he thought but now that things are finally off the ground, he said he hopes things move fast.
The department of grain science and industry and the department of animal sciences and industry will both use the facility, though it will be a few more months until students can use the building.
Ken Odde, department head for animal sciences and industry, said he does not believe industry is in the title of both the departments coincidentally. They both serve industry by studies and feed mill. He also said Dirk Maier brought a lot of energy to the project.
Maier, head of the grain science and industry department, said he was delighted to be at the ceremony, thanking the faculty and staff. And although "a lot of work still needs to be done for this facility to become a reality, this is an exciting day," he said.
President Kirk Schulz agreed in the respect that much support is still needed. He said Kansas' budget is low, but needs the support - students, faculty and money - to make this a reality.
First, the importance was on those who will be using the facility. "Students are what it is all about," Schulz said.
Joel Newman, CEO of American Feed Industry Association, was invited to speak at the ceremony. He said K-State and the association have a long, mutual relationship in which they help each other out by providing training, jobs, support - thus accomplishing major goals.
The association has employed more than 700 K-State students, all of whom Newman said have had fruitful careers.