Enhancing the Future

Bill Barr and Kim Rock created a professorship in the pet food industry with hopes of advancing the trade.

Bill Barr and Kim Rock are working to sustain the growth of the $70 billion global market that is the pet food industry through a professorship at Kansas State University.

“There has not been a dominate university catering to the needs of the pet food industry,” Barr said. “Kansas State University is uniquely qualified to provide the education and training necessary through the Department of Grain Science and Industry. This process begins with hiring the best faculty available, and that is why Kim and I want to establish a professorship in the pet food program.”

During college, Barr was able to work in K-State’s feed mills and analytical laboratories to better understand the pet food industry process.

“My father encouraged me to attend K-State to get a better fundamental understanding of animal nutrition and the animal feed industry in general,” Barr said. “This remains important to me as the world needs a safe, nutritious food supply to feed a growing world population.”

Barr and Rock hope that with this professorship, they will see an increase in the number of students interested in this segment of the industry, as well as the pet food industry seeing the value of the education students are receiving.

“I am awed by the student-centered culture that has been developed at K-State,” Rock said. “I spent many years working for another university and understand the importance of creating an environment where students feel connected and supported by the school. Additionally, as state funding continues to decline, external support becomes more critical to the mission of higher education.”

“I was fortunate that my father founded our company 61 years ago when he saw the growing need to provide nutritional ingredients to balance feed rations for healthier animal production,” Barr said. “The pet food industry and animal feed industry have grown largely over the years, and to sustain this growth we need a talented, well-trained and educated work force.”

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