Regents to Consider Proposed Sale of ISU Ankeny Farm

June 10th, 2005

The proposed sale of Iowa State University's dairy farm in Ankeny will fulfill state legislation passed three years ago and will mark the start of a new era for the nearly 110-year-old dairy science program.

Last week, the City of Ankeny and Iowa State announced a tentative agreement for the city to purchase the 1,031-acre farm for $23.6 million. The Ankeny City Council unanimously approved the purchase at its June 2 meeting. Transfer of the land would begin this fall and be completed by the fall of 2007.

Next week, at its June 13-14 meeting, the Board of Regents, State of Iowa will consider approval of the agreement.

Since the 1940s, the land has been the site of Iowa State agricultural research, primarily in dairy science. In 2002, state legislation directed the university to sell the farm to accommodate Ankeny's growing development needs and to use the proceeds to establish a new dairy farm.

"We believe the agreement is in the best interests of both parties," said Warren Madden, vice president for business and finance. "The agreement, based on the appraised value of the land, permits Iowa State to proceed with development of a modern dairy facility on land south of Ames. It allows Ankeny to implement its own vision for future development of the area."

Construction on the new dairy facility is expected to begin in September on 887 acres of farmland purchased last month by the Committee for Agricultural Development, a nonprofit organization affiliated with Iowa State. The land is located south of Ames and joins a corridor of existing ISU animal science teaching and research farms.

In May, the Regents approved final plans for phase one of the dairy farm construction, which is slated for completion in the fall of 2006. Phase two, which also has received Regents' approval, is construction of a pavilion for classes, educational programs and public events.

"This new state-of-the-art dairy facility will consolidate two outdated dairy operations," said Maynard Hogberg, chair of the Department of Animal Science. "The Ankeny Farm's facilities date back to the 1940s. The Ames dairy farm, which closed in 2003 due to state budget cuts, had buildings dating back nearly 100 years."

The new ISU dairy farm, which will house 450 milking cows, will serve hundreds of students. "The new facility will be a huge step forward in meeting the needs of our students as well as those of Iowa's modern dairy industry," Hogberg said.

As part of the agreement with the City of Ankeny, Iowa State will continue to use a portion of the Ankeny Farm to continue dairy science educational and research programs. Once the new dairy facility is open, the university will complete the transfer of programs from Ankeny.


Warren Madden, Business and Finance, (515) 294-1530,
Maynard Hogberg, Animal Science, (515) 294-2160,
Brian Meyer, Agriculture Communications, (515) 294-5616,