Flat Storage Dairy Feed Facility - Owosso, MI


Guided by extensive assessments conducted by VAA, the unusual design resulted in a highly durable feed facility with a process that effectively eliminates downtime


Starting as a greenfield site, Cargill Animal Nutrition’s first dairy mash feed mill in Michigan was built to meet the growing needs of the area’s dairy producers. The facility consists of truck and rail receiving; a 75,000 SF flat storage building; three grain storage silos; a pre-grind system; batching and mixing; an eight-station bulk bag system; 30 bin micro-ingredient system; a liquid system; and warehousing, office and administrative facilities.


Our Approach

The unusual design for the feed mill was selected for its durability, efficiency and reduced need for operational staff. VAA provided general arrangement, track design, industrial architecture and code compliance as well as process, structural, mechanical and electrical engineering. The team's efforts culminated in fully detailed for-construction bid packages and construction phase assistance for all portions of the project. Using feedback from a similar Cargill feed facility designed by VAA, the multidiscipline team provided several value-based engineering assessments, which included consideration of 20 different feed mixes and time studies.


The facility design also includes extensive safety features, including access by stairs or manlift to all work areas and equipment maintenance platforms. The few ladders on site include features to ensure compliance with current OSHA regulations, including integrated fall arrest systems.



The resulting process uses a front-end loader instead of batching feeders and flat storage bays instead of upright batching bins. The front-end loader distributes various bulk commodities into a loader scale hopper, which in turn sends a batch to a 10-ton mixer through a large capacity drag conveyor. From there, the mixed feed is distributed into upright bins for loading feed trucks. The entire facility layout and equipment is sized and arranged to optimize the utilization of the front-end loader. Effectively eliminating downtime, the system has a 35 ton per hour capacity. Overall, the facility is capable of processing 150,000 tons of dairy feed per year.

Interested in more of our work in the feed industry? Check out the Cargill Animal Nutrition Slipform Feed Mill project.