I read the article in the Great Bend Tribune: “Kansas State University, working with state, industry to turn area into pet food industry hub” (Nov 17 edition). A great many households have dogs and cats (including the household I share with a cousin suffering from cancer and diabetes, who has 3 cats). Generally, pet foods are made from beef, chicken, or pork (or a mixture of all three) plus other ingredients. It is imperative that innovations begin at what animals hunger for, and will readily eat. Of course, someone who raises goats (as I once did, for over a decade) depends on animal-foods made from corn, wheat or even oats. Goats are finicky creatures. An owner doesn’t want them to flounder on excess foods which would be detrimental to their health. That is why new research is so vital. In the areas around Great Bend and Garden City and many Kansas towns you may have grain elevators in one town with beef or pork processing centers in another town. I believe a pivotal factor is utilizing by-products which would be edible to the animal yet presently discarded. Surely, there are “mixes” between grains and meat discards that would generate new pet foods, new jobs, and happy consumers and pets (not to mention happy conservation groups). As my late mom would use the old slogan: “Waste Not, Want Not.” I wish K-State the best and hope that Kansas towns conduct research and development into resources that are presently untapped to devise that planned for, pet industry hub.
James A. Marples,