A ribbon cutting was held at the Farm Laboratory of Iowa Lakes Community College Thursday afternoon as the college officially designated the Swine Training Center as ‘ready’ for population.
Community members, business partners and students toured the new 7,500 square foot building preceding the ribbon cutting.
During the ceremony, Valerie Newhouse, President of Iowa Lakes, thanked those who were instrumental in building the facility.
“We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to New Modern Concepts, Osborne Industries and Michaelson Inc., for bidding this complicated project and completing it in a timely manner as well as farm staff, instructors and Iowa Lakes’ maintenance personnel for assisting with the prep and finish efforts,” Newhouse said.
This project continues the college’s sustainability efforts by recycling as much of the old facility as possible. In addition, the energy panel design provides the appropriate climate needs for the livestock while conserving energy.
“This opportunity is possible in large part through Accelerated Career Education (ACE) funding appropriated by the state, which supports projects that educate students for high-skilled, high-paying jobs,” President Newhouse said.
The new Swine Training Center is connected to the existing breeding and gestation building with an enclosed walkway. The new facility includes farrowing, nursery and three grower rooms.
The climate controlled Swine Training Center can accommodate up to 12 sows every five weeks. The nursery area handles 120 pigs and each grower room can accommodate a maximum of 120 pigs.
Pat Kibbie, Vice President of the Board of Trustees and an area farmer, addressed the crowd saying that he had a special interest in this project because of his long-time involvement in agriculture.
“I strongly believe that the healthier we can keep our swine and cattle, the more credibility we can provide to the industry as a whole,” said Kibbie.
The Swine Training Center is replacing two buildings, one of which was lost in 2005. In addition, the college was able to close an open earthen manure storage pit with this upgrade.
Also speaking were Jan Lund, President of the Board of Trustees of Iowa Lakes; Ag Production Student Andrew Bell, New Modern Concepts Representative Matt Nelsen, Instructor Kelly Dodge, Director of Ag Programming and Operations Neal Williamsen and Campus Executive Dean Thomas Brotherton.
College officials held the ribbon cutting in conjunction with the annual Farm Field Day and Expo.
The ribbon cutting included, from left, Kelly Dodge, Tom Brotherton, Trustee Arden Kinnander, President Valerie Newhouse, Trustee Janice Lund, Ag Student Matt Bootsma, Trustee Pat Kibbie, Ag Production Student Andrew Bell, New Modern Concepts Representative Matt Nelsen and Neal Williamsen.