Ardent Mills has announced a $3.5 million gift to Kansas State University’s Ag Innovation Initiative, which will support the grain science department’s growth and research capabilities through 2026. The gift aims to foster an innovative future for the flour-milling and ingredient industry and help to develop the next generation of leaders. As part of the gift, Ardent Mills will collaborate with the university’s College of Agriculture leadership to establish baseline metrics and goals for the milling and baking science programs. The company’s DEI mission is to create a more inclusive and equitable environment in the industry. It hopes this gift will support exceptional talent development and research to solve pressing food and agriculture challenges. In addition, the interdisciplinary and collaborative approach and new facilities will allow students to tackle industry challenges and contribute to advancing the field.
Troy Anderson, Vice President of Operations at Ardent Mills, expressed the company’s enthusiasm for cultivating an innovative future for the industry and fostering the growth of future leaders through its partnership with K-State’s Ag Innovation Initiative. Anderson highlighted that the evolving interdisciplinary and collaborative approach, coupled with new facilities, will create opportunities for exceptional, diverse talent development and drive best-in-class research to address pressing food and agriculture challenges both now and in the future.
The Grain Industry Has Been Stressed In Recent Weeks
The ongoing war in Ukraine has caused record-breaking highs in the prices of most grains. Inflation in all commodities, including energy and transport, has contributed to keeping the prices of grains at an elevated level. Removing three countries, Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine, from the supply chain has pressured suppliers to compensate for the losses. The reopening of China has added to the pressure on certain grains such as Corn, Wheat, and Soybeans. There are also fears of record-breaking droughts in Europe, North America, and Asia, which would further exacerbate the situation. Farmers and organizations are now seeking alternatives to existing grain crops that can withstand hot temperatures, droughts, or genetically modified grain crops that are better suited to the environment.
However, the rise of flash floods and hail in certain parts of the United States has posed another challenge for farmers. Despite the efforts to find solutions, there is no way to predict or control the effects of natural disasters on crops. With so many challenges facing the grain market, exploring new ways of farming and sourcing grains is essential to ensure a stable and sustainable supply chain. In addition, it is becoming increasingly clear that the global food system needs to be more resilient to deal with the growing threats of climate change, political instability, and natural disasters.