FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Northern Crops Institute in Fargo plans to hold an open house this week to celebrate the completion of an equipment upgrade at its Feed Production Center.

Eighteen livestock feed manufacturers from China will also attend hands-on training with the new equipment at the center during a weeklong visit. The open house is scheduled for Wednesday.

More than three-fourths of the $800,000 upgrade cost was paid by commodity groups and private industry, according to NCI Director Mark Weber. The North Dakota Legislature last year also approved money.

The Feed Production Center hosts feed training courses for people from around the world and serves as a training facility for college students in the Upper Midwest. The center also is a working feed mill, producing livestock feed for North Dakota State University’s animal units as well as research projects.

“Our previous system made good feed, but it was not the kind of system on which you want to train people for the modern feed industry,” Center Manager Kim Koch said. “Because NCI is a globally recognized leader in training and education, our visitors expect to see the most modern equipment. It’s a competitive world, and we need to be at the highest level of technology.”

Northern Crops Institute is funded by the states of North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota, along with commodity groups in those states and Montana. It conducts educational and technical programs to support the region’s agriculture and value-added processing industries by maintaining and expanding markets for northern-grown crops.

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