South Dakota State University (SDSU) is planning to build a teaching and research facility related to hog production and has begun its funding campaign. The first donor to step forward for the proposed $7 million facility is First Bank and Trust.

The First Bank and Trust operates in eastern South Dakota and southwestern Minnesota and has committed $250,000 to the project. The South Dakota Pork Producers Council also has pledged support. The SDSU Foundation is charged with raising private funds for the project.

The project on the drawing board is a multiple-facility project designed to replace existing swine units that were constructed in the 1930’s, 1940’s, and 1970’s, the university reports. The plan is to divide the project into three facilities.

The first will be a new Teaching and Research Facility that will include a classroom and observation area, metabolism laboratory, surgery area, gestation and farrowing areas, as well as boar housing and a semen collection center. The total space allocated to these areas is 16,400 square feet. 

The second and third facilities will involve a wean-to-finish barn and tunnel-ventilated barn. These will include a swine production barn, observation areas, central working area and feed mixing areas. The space allotment for these facilities is approximately 28,200 square feet combined.

SDSU reports that the gross square footage for all new construction associated with this project is 34,600 square feet. The new facilities will be placed on the site of the university’s existing swine unit.

Foundation officials hope the first funding commitments will encourage other organizations to pledge money to build the Swine Teaching and Research Facility.

Barry Dunn, dean of SDSU's College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, says the facility will provide cutting edge research and education in the swine industry.