South Dakota State University is scheduled to break ground on a new, state-of-the-art Swine Education and Research Facility at 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3. The event, which will be held at the current SDSU Swine Unit north of campus on Medary Avenue, is open to the public.
Speaking at the ceremony are South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard; Lucas Lentsch, the state’s secretary of agriculture; South Dakota State president David Chicoine and Barry Dunn, dean of SDSU’s College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences.
Others scheduled to attend include South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa pork producer representatives, Minnesota and South Dakota soybean producer representatives, SDSU Swine Club members, the SDSU student body and those who have contributed to the project.
Features of the new Swine Education and Research Facility, which will cost in excess of $6 million, include an on-site classroom, areas for boar housing and semen collection, the capability to study sow metabolism and physiology as well as sow farrowing and gestation rooms. An on-site wean-to-finish barn as well as off-site wean-to-finish facilities will further improve the research and learning capabilities of the SDSU Swine Education and Research Facility for faculty and students. Portions of the facility have been dedicated for intensive nutritional studies and the capability for engineers to develop the next generation of finishing barns.
The most prominent feature will be a raised glass observation area to allow students and visitors a firsthand view of the breeding, gestation and farrowing rooms, all while maintaining the unit’s biosecurity. This public outreach will allow SDSU Extension and the animal science department to continue public outreach efforts to educate those interested about swine production practices.