Ralco breaks ground on innovation center

The center will integrate the company’s chemical lab, multi-species animal research, diagnostic research, pilot lab, microbiology lab and greenhouse all under one roof.

Ralco breaks ground on innovation center
From left to right: Bob Byrnes, City of Marshall Mayor; Brad Gruhot, Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce President; Brian Knochenmus, Ralco President; Mindy Knochenmus; Lou Galbraith, Ralco Founder; Niter Knochenmus; Jon Knochenmus, Ralco President Emeritus and Diane Wagner, Ralco Vice President of Innovation.

May 10, 2021

Ralco is building a new innovation center, Jon Knochenmus Center for Innovation, in Marshall, Minnesota. The 13.6-acre site will be the hub for the exploration of natural approaches to maximize nutrient conversion in both plants and animals. The center will integrate the company's chemical lab, multi-species animal research, diagnostic research, pilot lab, microbiology lab and greenhouse all under one roof while cultivating growth and opportunities in Marshall. The center will also serve Ralco’s customers with the continued perfection of their patented approaches. 

The innovation center will allow Ralco’s team of Ph.D. and master level scientists to conduct research in multiple disciplines to screen scientific breakthroughs prior to implementation into commercial research facilities. The center will also provide a place for Ralco staff to work with local university students and invite customers for a firsthand view of advanced approaches to solve some of agriculture’s toughest problems.

“This space is an opportunity for us to bring our customers and show them precisely what Ralco is doing. We’re not going to keep this behind the curtain. It’s a space for transparency that showcases our work in live-action,” said Diane Wagner, vice president of innovation for Ralco. “We are a science-based company, and we are always learning about how we convert more energy out of nutritional inputs. We use science to focus on this idea of nutrient conversion to create a strong immunity and superior performance of plants and animals for our customers.”

The groundbreaking begins the process of expanding the lab facility. The pilot lab will create small batches of feed, and a greenhouse will be used to conduct preliminary plant research. Ralco President Brian Knochenmus believes the center is a crucial space for their scientists to conduct research. “We have very talented people at Ralco, we always have, but they needed more space to advance their ideas. This center gives them the tools and opportunity they require to make a remarkable change,” Knochenmus said. “We currently hold 21 patents and have another 60 pending. The research conducted at this center will lead to even more patents and more ways we can serve our customers.”


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