Morningside University is buying more than 70 acres of farmland in Sioux City from Woodbury County that will be used to expand agricultural opportunities for the college’s students.
Tom Paulsen heads the agricultural and food studies department at Morningside and says hands-on learning is vital for agricultural careers. Paulsen says, “A lot of our students go back to family farming operations and having the opportunity to work in the agronomy sector, the crop production sector, as well as all the other opportunities we have for them is going to be critical for their future success.”
Lessons like crop-scouting or hybrid analysis will move out of the classroom and onto the farm. Paulsen says the land will give students the opportunity to learn everything from budgeting to hybrid selection.
“When the students have the opportunity to be engaged, and to actually manage something themselves and make decisions that are meaningful, not just theoretical, it’s a whole different aspect to the quality of their educational experience,” he says.
The farm sits just five miles down the road from the university. Paulsen says students could start using the land as early as next year. He hopes the addition can help expand the department’s offerings.
(By Kendall Crawford, Iowa Public Radio)