Future and current Kansas State University students recently had the opportunity to explore how working with grain can lead to a fulfilling career. The Feeding the Future Discovery Day was held February 3, 2018 at the Kansas State University Grain Science Complex. There were 57 prospective junior high, high school and college students in attendance.
To better understand the career possibilities, participants were involved in three hands-on experiences that encompassed baking, milling and animal foods. The interactive labs provided knowledge about milling wheat into flour, the production of breads and cakes and the formation of pet treats. The segments were focused on the science behind the experiences. Along with the labs, students toured the O.H. Kruse Feed Technology Innovation Center, Hal Ross Flour Mill and Bioprocessing and Industrial Value Added Products Innovation Center.
“The purpose of this event was to provide an encounter for students to learn more about grain science in an engaging and fun environment,” says Gordon Smith, grain science and industry department head. The event was led by grain science students, faculty and staff.
“Our school attended this event to explain to students that agriculture is more than cows and plows,” says Joanna Farmer, agriculture teacher at Wichita Southeast High School in Wichita, Kansas. “Our school has brought a group up before to visit the extrusion lab and they really enjoyed it, so I knew this would be a good experience for them as well.”
The Discovery Day helped participants acquire an understanding for grains, but also promoted careers associated with baking, milling and animal food production.
“This event provides students looking for a unique major better understanding of the things that they enjoy eating,” says Smith. “The industry continually asks us for more grain science graduates, so it’s important to expose prospective students to the career opportunities in the grain science field.”
The Department of Grain Science and Industry strives to educate students and professionals, conduct innovative research, transfer new technologies and knowledge, and offer high–quality outreach programs and services that impact the global grain and plant–based food, feed, fiber, fuel and bio–products supply chains. For more information, visit www.grains.k-state.edu.