- Subscribe via RSS
Construction Begins on New Iowa State Dairy Farm
May 31st, 2006
This spring, ground was broken for Iowa State University's new state-of-the-art dairy farm south of Ames and officials looked forward to opening the facility in 2007.
"We are beginning an important new chapter in dairy science at Iowa State and for the state of Iowa," said Wendy Wintersteen, dean of ISU's College of Agriculture. "The Dairy/Animal Science Education and Discovery Facility will elevate Iowa State into the top tier of institutions with educational and research facilities devoted to progress in dairy science and animal science."
The new dairy facility will be located on an 887-acre site three miles south of Iowa State's central campus. Funding for the nearly $15 million facility is coming from proceeds from last year's sale of ISU's Ankeny Farm to the City of Ankeny. The sale was directed by the Iowa Legislature in 2002. The Committee for Agricultural Development, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the university, is providing a $1 million grant to assist in developing the farm.
"The new farm will greatly enhance ISU's ability to recruit the best students into careers in agriculture and life sciences," said Maynard Hogberg, chair of ISU's Department of Animal Science. "The facility will be a primary location for hands-on courses, labs and research projects for undergraduate and graduate students in agriculture and veterinary medicine."
Animal agriculture is a huge economic factor in Iowa, Hogberg said. "The Iowa dairy industry contributes $1.5 billion to the economy each year. We've been working with Iowa's dairy leaders to set new goals to enhance this economic impact. Taking advantage of this opportunity will require innovative research and trained people, which is where Iowa State and the new dairy farm will play a critical role."
The facility will house 450 milking cows - about 100 more than the Ankeny dairy operation - plus a similar number of heifers, dry cows and calves.
The new facility's animal housing and management systems will match current industry standards and make use of the latest technology available. A complex of buildings will be constructed on 27 acres. The "front door" will be the dairy center, which will include a visitor's center, a viewing area of the milking parlor, classrooms and meeting rooms.
The main structures to be constructed include:
Manure-handling systems will be the most effective management technologies available, said Hogberg. "We want the facility to be a model for a modern, community-friendly livestock operation," he said.
Northwest view of the future dairy farm.