You are here: Home » News » NEWS » Iowa State Farming Lab Brings Real World Skills To Students

Iowa State Farming Lab Brings Real World Skills To Students

Views: 106    


Iowa State University hosts more than 30,000 students from across the globe each year. Many of those students choose to make the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences their home during the four-year stay. For some of these students, that means spending a semester or two on the farm.

Each semester, about 60 students farm roughly 600 acres, helping to do the work and make the decisions that go into keeping this Iowa farming business afloat.

It's a real-life, real-world experience that comes complete with the option to try new things and work with of the country's biggest companies.

Iowa State’s Assistant Teaching Professor Skyler Rinker says AG 450 students have many opportunities to interact with large agricultural companies.

"Relationships are key with industry partners to help improve your operation. To continue learning and grow as an operation, to me, is a very critical component when we're talking about production agriculture,” says Rinker.

Companies like Pivot Bio offer products and plots for students to test those new ideas.

“In terms of fertilizer and our practices, it’s about not always doing things just because they've been done that way for 40 years and looking to be more sustainable and adapt new and modern technologies as they become available,” says Rinker. “I think looking at fertilizer and nitrogen alternatives to synthetics was something that fit very well in looking toward the future.”

Rinker says the farm is self-funded and like a real Iowa farm, is subject to the ups and downs of the ag economy.

From the Editor

As a recent graduate of Iowa State University (Agricultural Studies, May 2020), I can attest to the benefits the AG 450 Farm brings to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

At the beginning of the semester, students are assigned to a committee – crops, machinery, public relations, buildings and grounds, customers and swine, or finance and marketing—and they work to maintain their subject area each week in lab.

Once a week during lab, the class is split into teams. Each team includes one person from each committee. Teams are advised to work together to complete weekly teachings.

During the course of my semester in AG 450, my team and I measured grain bins, hauled out finished pigs, completed an in-person farm safety course, and selected spring 2021 corn and soybean hybrids suitable to our soil profiles as well as any crop insurance we saw fit.

COVID-19 did put an end to our in-class lab sessions. However, had we completed our spring semester in person, my team would have many more experiences under our belt. A few of those being spring plant and spray, overseeing plans for a bike path to run through our farm and fields, and laying the groundwork for the possibility of a new, on-farm classroom.

Had the AG 450 Farm course not been required for my major, I’m certain I would not have been given the opportunity to harness these skills, nor would others who make their way through the College of Agriculture.

Customer First
Shanxi Guangyuan Fertilizer Co.,Ltd. is a modern comprehensive private enterprise combining scientific research, production and sales.
     QR Code
Copyright © Shanxi Guangyuan Fertilizer Co.,Ltd. All Rights Reserved.