In commemoration of its 100th anniversary, the Kansas State University Department of Grain Science and Industry will host a six-part lecture series featuring speakers from across the grain and biotechnology fields.

Founded in 1910 as the Department of Milling Industry, and using an experimental flour mill set up in the chemistry building, the department began testing and exploring more efficient ways of milling wheat grown in Kansas and across the Great Plains and improving grain quality. Since that time, the department has emerged to become a unique and internationally distinguished program.

Today, milling science is but one of three unique undergraduate programs offered by the department, which also includes baking science and feed science degrees. K-State is the only university in the world to offer all three degrees.

The lecture series will feature six speakers representing the fields of cereal science, nutrition, publishing, and biotechnology. The speakers have been chosen to discuss the future of agricultural science and industry as it relates to global challenges.

Dirk Maier, head of the Grain Science and Industry Department, said he views the lecture series as an opportunity to recognize the department´s contributions to these global industries.

"We're very excited to celebrate this important milestone in our department," Maier said. "The Centennial Lecture Series will be a great opportunity to highlight the many, many contributions to the grain industry we've made here at Kansas State University and to challenge our perspective on the future. The uniqueness of our program is recognized both nationally and internationally and we're looking forward to welcoming outstanding speakers from the grain-based food, feed, biotechnology and cereal nutrition fields."

The first lecture is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on Feb. 17 in the Hemisphere Room at Kansas State University´s Hale Library. Dr. Julie Miller Jones, professor emeritus of food and nutrition at the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minn., will present, "Grains of Truth: Separating Grain Nutrition Myths and Facts."

"While our lecturers represent a diverse set of specialties, they share the common characteristic of having well-deserved, international reputations as thought leaders in their respective fields; experts with compelling powers of exploration and analysis. It should be a fascinating series," said Dr. Jon Faubion, chairperson of the Centennial Lecture Series.

More information on the Centennial Lecture Series, or other centennial celebration events is available on K-State´s Department of Grain Science and Industry website at: www.grains.ksu.edu.