College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences opened two state-of-the-art facilities during the fall 2016 semester. The Cow-Calf Education and Research Facility and the Swine Education and Research Facility became critical components of the college and the academic programs that utilize the facilities.
The cow-calf building features working cattle facilities that are designed for educational demonstrations highlighting proper cattle handling and treatment techniques. The main building includes an 80-seat classroom, which will be utilized for student classes as well as producer meetings in industry events. Additional features include a double alley system, Silencer chute and Bud Box. The building also has a multi-use barn space with a center concrete drive and area for portable pens.
Each year, more than 600 undergraduate students will gain hands-on training in the areas of beef nutrition, management, breeding, genetics, reproduction, cattle evaluation, seedstock marketing and low-stress handling techniques.
The Swine Education and Research Facility is designed to host teaching, research, SDSU Extension and outreach activities. A 50-seat classroom, observation corridor, gestation room, farrowing rooms, boar room, physiology room and surgery suite provide opportunities for many different types of instruction and research. The observation corridor provides a means to better educate the public about modern pig production.
The facility also includes two, 1,200-head wean-to-finish barns. One of those barns is located adjacent to the gestation and farrowing building near campus. It includes four rooms designed to hold 300 pigs per room. Two of the rooms are equipped with small pens to facilitate nutrition research. The other two rooms are equipped with 20 pens per room, which have heated and cooled concrete floors. The second wean-to-finish barn is located 12 miles south of Brookings. That barn includes 52 pens with a capacity of 25 pigs per pen.
The facility supports the growing number of students pursuing animal science degrees, which has more than doubled in just over a decade.