Sara Gavin 301-405-9235
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Two University of Maryland alumni, Charlie '65 and Judy '66 Iager (pictured right), spent countless hours together on the university's Campus Farm during their time as students. Now, nearly a half a century later, the Iagers are helping to ensure the farm's revitalization, making a six-figure gift to kick off a $3 million fundraising effort for its first major renovation in 50 years.
The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources' $6 million project calls for replacing an asphalt parking area in the center of the farm with a covered livestock pen that allows seated students and visitors to observe instructors working with animals. A new enclosed 18,000-square-foot teaching pavilion will also provide classroom and viewing areas.
Nestled among dormitories, sports arenas and classroom buildings, the property is unique among urban universities along the East Coast and serves as a nod to UMD's roots as an agricultural college.
Today, the campus farm is about 4.3 acres in size, a far cry from the 90-plus acres that included a working dairy operation when the facility was launched in 1937. But it endures as a vital, hands-on teaching lab for students in the burgeoning animal science program. Enrollment has climbed from about 180 in 2002 to 288 today, with students studying everything from applied animal physiology to equine behavior to commercial poultry management.
"(The farm) really makes a lot of students feel at home, at least the ones who love animals," says Judy. "It's important to have a nice, updated facility where they can feel comfortable and relate."
The Iagers hope that by helping the Campus Farm get a facelift, they'll be encouraging the next crop of Terps to create their own memories there.
"You go to college so you can learn for the rest of your life," says Charlie. "The University of Maryland is where it all started for us."
To learn more about the campus farm revitalization, visit http://agnr.umd.edu/campusfarm.
This story originally appeared in the Spring 2013 issue of Terp Magazine.