Iowa Lakes Community College Ag students helped break in a brand-new beef learning facility.
According to Farm-news.com, the lab is located on the college’s farm just west of Emmetsburg. It measures 63 feet by 350 feet. It houses both beef cattle and cow/calf pairs for hands-on learning. The upgrade now offers a chance to demonstrate confined feeding versus outdoor feeding.
One end houses 50 cow/calf pairs, and the other end houses 130 indoor feedlot beef cattle. Eighty are outside to compare differing lifestyles.
Neal Williamsen, instructor for Ag Production Technology at ILCC, said the new lab was brings their beef production technology into the new age.
“We needed to upgrade because it tends to be the trend in the industry,” Williamsen said. “We also needed to upgrade our antiquated cow/calf facilities on the west side of the farm – they were needing a lot of work, so we decided to combine things into one barn.”
Ag students are responsible for chores, night checks when cows are calving, cleaning stalls and processing calves and cattle.
The new beef lab also features a camera system that focuses on both the feedlot side and the calving center.
The new beef lab makes a statement about ag education at ILCC, Williamsen said. “It shows our commitment to agriculture,” adding it shows the college is moving forward and not standing still.
Financial support for the facility came from ACE (Accelerated Career Education) funding. This is state money assisting Iowa’s community colleges in either establishing or expanding programs training individuals in the occupations most needed by Iowa businesses.