Tim and Marta Belstra of DeMotte, Indiana, have invested in the grain science and industry department at Kansas State University by creating the Belstra Family Professorship in Feed Science.
Chad Paulk, associate professor of feed science and management, is the first to receive the award, which will support his research and teaching activities. Paulk’s research focuses on feed processing, feed safety and monogastric nutrition, and he advises and mentors feed science undergraduate students and serves as Feed Science Club co-advisor.
“This endowment will enhance my research, teaching and outreach in feed manufacturing, monogastric nutrition and feed safety,” Paulk said. “The additional funds will provide great help with travel, equipment needs and support of undergraduate and graduate students in my program. This support will help us fulfill our mission to provide excellent career paths to students while filling the employee pipeline within the feed industry.”
K-State is the only degree-granting program in North America for feed science and management, milling science and management, and bakery science and management. Endowment gifts such as the Belstras’ provide permanent support and stability for the department.
“This professorship helps tremendously to recruit and retain the highest quality faculty, such as Dr. Paulk,” said Hulya Dogan, interim department head. “While we are a recognized leader around the world, the endowed chair will undoubtedly raise the global stature and impact of the department to new heights and help us achieve our vision of being the global education, research and technology transfer leader for the grain and feed industry.”
Tim Belstra earned his degree in feed science and management from K-State in 1971, and Marta Belstra graduated from K-State in 1972 with a degree in elementary education. Tim’s family has been in the feed business in Indiana since 1954.
“Dad followed K-State’s feed program since its inception, and he hoped one of his sons would attend K-State. While I was at K-State, I met my best friend, Marta, and we’ve been together for 52 years,” Tim said. “We support a scholarship in the grain science program and decided to help the department with a professorship. We hope this relieves a bit of the department’s budget and allows for more growth in the program while retaining top-notch professors. Our family has been blessed, and one of life’s joys is giving back.”