Dordt University in Sioux Center is expanding its Agricultural Stewardship Center with an eight-million dollar project.

Professor Gary De Vries, who heads Dordt’s ag department, says for starters, they’re adding a large building to house livestock.
“Right now, they’re in an outside yard or a pasture their entire lives,” De Vries says. “The monoslope facility is going to be partially for them but then we’re going to expand the livestock we have year-round to include some dairy heifers.”

The addition will also include a three-season greenhouse, thanks to a donation from a Canadian company. “A couple of things we’re hoping that are unique for that particular space for our plant science students is to put some kinds of trees there that don’t do well in an Iowa climate,” De Vries says. “They’ll be protected, the stone fruit trees, like a peach or an apricot.”

De Vries says the number of students in the ag department has doubled since 2009. Dordt now has 146 two-year and four-year ag students. He says that growth is part of the reason for this expansion. De Vries notes, the project is being funded totally by donations and not student tuition funds.

The project should be complete by fall of 2022.

(By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)