The Cycle of Life Helps to Sustain the Teaching Farms

April 5, 2017

One hundred and nine lambs and twenty colts have already been born this spring. Close to 100 calves from the beef herd will be born before summer begins.  According to Beef Teaching Farm Manager, David Bruene, spring is the time of year when the farms starts a whole new production cycle and a new crop of calves to raise throughout the year. Dave says "Spring is when we get our first harvest of calves that we can raise to be the next herd of cows or sires for our breeding program.  We sell these cows to raise money and it's so important and helps to keep our farms alive at ISU.  For example, I just sold $16,000 worth of feedstock bulls to one producer this morning. Those bulls were raised and bred at the ISU beef teaching farm."   

Animal Science Farms Director, Ben Drescher, stresses the importance of the cycle of life not only to the farms but to the university as a whole.  He says "We are one of the few universities in the country that offers teaching farms in all of the common species.  This is a huge selling point of Iowa State University because it allows our students to have the unique hands-on experience with research and farm management practices.  Our graduates are very sought after and valued as already possessing the practical base-knowledge by employers.  This is evident by our 98% placement rate and having one of the best College of Agriculture career fairs in the country."