Western Oklahoma State College’s Agriculture Department hosted an open house Thursday at the recently completed Animal Science Education Center (ASEC) located at the rodeo and agriculture grounds north of the college on Highway 283. Pioneer patrons, administration and their families and Ag students toured the facility and enjoyed a hamburger and all the trimmings, compliments of the WOSC Foundation, Inc. President’s Partners Program.
Lisa Greenlee, Vice President for Academic and Student Support Services said, “It’s an exciting day at Western. The need for this facility has been on our academic radar for a long time. We knew we needed a facility like this to enhance learning opportunities for our agriculture students. It’s a great day when you get to hope, wish and plan and it finally comes to fruition. Western has a commitment to continue to use this facility to serve our students and the community. Growing our Ag program is an academic priority and will continue to be. ”
Greenlee thanked the Western Board of Regents for their endorsement of the project, the executive council and Ag Faculty for the planning and preparation of the facility and the Ag Advisory Board and the many patrons who supported the projects.
Tanner Hopkins, Animal Science Instructor, thanked the WOSC Foundation for its support of the event and Holder Brothers Beef who supplied the Yeti Cooler used as a raffle prize to raise funds for the college’s Aggie Club. The raffle raised $1100 and the cooler was awarded to Joshewa Spivey, Western Ag student.
John Dee Butchee, Chairman of the Western Ag Advisory Board said, “This is a dream that’s been a long time coming. We wanted to see our Ag program grow, a new facility and new opportunities. All that has happened due to the commitment of everybody involved. Great things are happening as a result of the growth of this facility. This year, Western has the largest returning sophomore Ag class that the college has ever had.”
Construction on the 15,000 square foot structure began in October 2012 and was built by Heller Construction. The ASEC is comprised of a class room, feed room, automatic water troughs with medicated watering capability and working equipment to include a chute, alley, tub and pens. The new facility will enhance student experience and learning in animal science related courses. The working facility and laboratory will aid instruction in animal health and livestock processing, proper administration of vaccines, implanting, sterilization techniques and animal handling and welfare. The new space allows for extensive instruction regarding animal reproduction techniques and livestock feeding.
Tanner Hopkins, Western Animal Science Instructor said, “The new facility provides an essential, hands-on educational environment in many areas of production agriculture, including nutrition, animal health, reproduction, and livestock management; all of which are equally important in order to achieve the ultimate goal of educating students on producing high quality livestock. Western’s new facility will be a valuable asset for all agriculture students, regardless if they decide to return to the family farm or ranch, enter the workforce, or decide to further their education at a university.”