BROOKINGS – Farm Credit Services of America (FCSAmerica) has made a $50,000 donation to the proposed Swine Education and Research Facility at South Dakota State University.
The facility is likely to be constructed in multiple phases where the existing buildings are located north of campus. Once completed, it would provide 44,527 square feet of modern educational and research space. The project requires $5.5 million in private funding. To date, $1.145 million has been committed.
The request had been initiated by Bob Schmidt, senior vice president of FCSAmerica, in Pierre, as part of its community involvement program. FCSAmerica began its community involvement program in January 2012. Funding decisions hinge on programs that will impact well into the future.
“We are thrilled to have partners like Farm Credit Services of America who understand how urgent our facility projects are,” said Dr. Barry Dunn, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences at SDSU. “Farm Credit Services of America is making an investment not only in SDSU, but in agriculture across our state and our region. We truly appreciate their decision to make such a substantial impact on our swine unit facilities.”
Schmidt said: “FCSAmerica support the idea of preparing tomorrow’s pork producers for the swine industry, through the use of research and technology to develop the next generation of producers in an academic setting.”
The educational portion (16,470 square feet) includes individualized space for swine reproduction, nutrition, gestation and farrowing, along with a classroom that will be utilized not only by SDSU students, but also by the public and industry through extension and outreach opportunities.
A new wean-to-finish research facility (14,754 square feet) includes space to produce swine, conduct research and educate in fields of swine growth, nutrition, and environment. The new head wean-to-finish barn (13,303 square feet) will serve as a model swine production facility for up to 1,200 head.
The Swine Education and Research Center aligns with the three focus areas of the FCSAmerica community involvement program: 1) ag education; 2) young and beginning producers; and 3) hunger and nutrition. FCSAmerica liked the center’s physical space design for leadership opportunities, collaboration and mentoring in agriculture.
“We were happy to take one of the first steps in helping South Dakota benefit from this unique facility – one that is dedicated not only to educating students, but also educates the general public on how the swine industry benefits the state and region. This touches the local community, university level, state level, and the ag industry as a whole,” said Schmidt. “We are excited to watch the progress that will come with this new learning space.”
The Swine Education and Research Facility is part of It Starts with STATE: A Campaign for South Dakota State University. The six-year campaign exceeded its $200 million goal in August 2012. There had been $224.8 million in gifts and pledges as of December 31. The campaign officially ends with on-campus celebrations on April 25 and 26. All gifts and pledges made by April 24 will count in the final campaign total.
About Farm Credit Services of America
Farm Credit Services of America is a customer-owned financial cooperative proud to finance the growth of rural America, including the special needs of young and beginning producers. With nearly $20 billion in assets and more than $3 billion in members’ equity, FCSAmerica is one of the region’s leading providers of credit and insurance services to farmers, ranchers, agribusiness and rural residents in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. Learn more at www.fcsamerica.com.