Work progresses on SDSU Cow-Calf Education and Research Unit

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Farm Forum

BROOKINGS, S.D. – Construction is underway on the South Dakota State University Cow-Calf Education and Research Unit near Brookings, SD. The new facility is expected to be completed on the 320-acre site, located north of the SDSU campus, by December 2015.

When complete, the SDSU Cow-Calf Education and Research Unit will feature functional, working cattle facilities that can be used for educational demonstrations highlighting proper cattle handling and treatment techniques. A main building will contain a conference center, laboratory space and offices. A wing of the main building will serve as a multi-purpose area that can be used for maternity pens or display pens for livestock evaluation.

“Hands-on learning is a very important benefit we offer our students in the SDSU College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences,” says Barry Dunn, South Dakota Corn Utilization Council Endowed Dean of the SDSU College of Agriculture & Biological Sciences and Extension Director. “This new facility will be a beneficial tool that helps our students gain practical experience to help further their career goals.”

A monoslope research building will house state-of-the-art equipment to apply nutritional treatments and measure individual feed and water intake. Replicated pastures on the site will be used to conduct grazing management research.

“We are excited that construction has officially begun on the SDSU Cow-Calf Education and Research Unit,” says Joe Cassady, SDSU Animal Science Department Head. “When completed, construction of this facility will better enable our faculty and students to pursue their scholarly interests. This project would not have been possible without the dedicated efforts and generosity of our alumni and friends.”

The new Cow-Calf Education and Research Unit will host Extension meetings and educational events supporting South Dakota beef producers. “We’ve offered use of the facilities to our neighboring educational institutions such as Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown, S.D., and Mitchell Technical Institute, too,” Dunn adds.

Each year, more than 600 SDSU undergraduate students will gain hands-on training in the state-of-the-art facilities in the areas of beef nutrition, management, breeding, genetics, reproduction, cattle evaluation, seedstock marketing, animal welfare and low-stress handling techniques.