Iowa State University officials met this week with dairy farmers to talk about the planned closing of the dairy teaching farm in Ames. Agriculture Dean Catherine Wotecki says the farm’s a casualty of budget cuts and inefficiencies. She says the farm’s incurred operating losses this year of 180-thousand dollars, because the old farm, built in the early 1900s, has been surrounded by the city of Ames and now feed must be hauled in and manure hauled out, and it all adds up to big staff costs. The old dairy farm adjacent to the ISU campus will be closed by the end of this fall semester, and a new one planned south of Ames won’t be completed for another three years. But in the meantime Wotecki says students will get practical training at the dairy teaching farm at Ankeny and get field experience through internships. The ISU College of Agriculture is trying to trim two-million dollars from its budget by consolidating livestock research farms, leaving vacant positions unfilled, and raising some service fees. The dean says it can be done without diminishing the quality of the dairy-science program at Iowa State. Wotecki went to Waverly this week, in the heart of Iowa’s dairy country, to meet with about 30 producers, and representatives from Northern Iowa Community College.
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