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The Agriculture department has 514 students and had 119 students graduate from the program in the past year.
The heart of the Department of Agricultural Sciences, the Valk Center is the site of most classroom instruction. The Agriculture Resource Center offers up-to-the-minute commodities information and computer work stations.
The complex houses classrooms, a research laboratory and a preparatory room for Horticulture students. A growth chamber can simulate any type of growing environment on earth. Seven greenhouses feature state-of-the-art technology and are heated with circulating water. They are also equipped with a warning system if the temperature drops drastically.
Located on the edge of campus, the dairy provides plenty of hands-on instruction. The 80-plus herd of Jersey, Holstein and Brown Swiss is artificially inseminated. Approximately 40 lactating cows are milked twice each day, often by student employees. The Embryo Transfer Laboratory is also housed at the dairy. Students are involved in all stages of the process, from palpating cows to freezing embryos.
Commonly called the North Farm, this 750-acre facility employs a farm manager, animal technician, crop technician, swine herdsman and University students. The beef herd is composed of Gelbvieh, Angus and Charolais cattle. Suffolk ewes bred with Dorsett rams produce market lambs which are used in meats class. A farrow-to-finish swine operation gives students an opportunity to explore changes in the pork industry.
The University grows corn and soybeans at the North Farm, in addition to several acres of alfalfa and grass hay. Research is also conducted for soil analysis and global positioning.
The lighted arena provides a place for rodeo team members to practice for college competitions and to host their own rodeo events. Team and club members can board their horses at indoor or outdoor stables on a semester basis for a fee.