BROOKINGS, S.D. - Send a Cow to College campaign will kick-off July 31 when the first donor cow will be sold at the Mitchell Livestock Auction Market in Mitchell. Proceeds from this campaign go to fund the new South Dakota State University Cow-Calf Education and Research Facility.
The Send a Cow to College campaign was designed so cattle producers can make a tax free donation to the future of cattle research and development within the state, explained Cody Wright, Beef Extension Specialist and professor in the Department of Animal Science at SDSU.
"Cull cows represent about 15 percent of the income in a cow/calf operation. Although their contributions to the sustainability of the operation ceases when they are marketed, they now have a way of continuing to contribute to their industry through this campaign," Wright said.
Cattlemen are being asked to play a role by donating the proceeds from a cull cow or group of cull cows to the SDSU Foundation to make the SDSU Cow-Calf Education and Research Facility a reality.
Funds generated through this campaign will be utilized to construct a new state-of-the-art Cow-Calf Education and Research Facility at SDSU. The Facility has an estimated cost of $4.1 million. A little over half of that total has been raise at this point, some coming from the generosity of individuals, financial institutions, businesses and organizations that have already made substantial contributions to the Facility. However, the funding effort is far from complete.
Building for the Future
The current SDSU Cow/calf Unit was constructed in the 1950's and a little over a year ago, about half of it was destroyed by fire. Enrollment of students pursuing degrees in Animal Science has doubled in the past few years - and continues to increase.
"A state-of-the-art facility is needed now more than ever," said Cory Eich, an SDSU alumnus and lifelong cattle producer.
By participating in the Send a Cow to College campaign, South Dakota livestock producers can assist SDSU in providing Animal Science students with the facilities that will prepare them to be competitive in the ever evolving cattle industry.
How you can participate
South Dakota sale barn owners understand the program and are willing to provide the opportunity for cattle producers to participate in the Send a Cow to College campaign.
"The process is simple," said Dave Barz, a large animal veterinarian with Northwest Veterinary & Supply in Parkston, and active in fundraising for the new center. "Cattlemen willing to support this cause should complete a Deed of Gift form that is available at their sale barn of choice. This transfers ownership of the cow or cows to the SDSU Foundation and relieves cattlemen of any tax consequences for the value of the animals donated to the campaign. That's all there is to it."
Barz added that if cattle producers prefer, they can donate calves instead of cows. For those not involved in the cattle business, but would like to support the construction of this center, monetary donations or tax free gifts of grain are also accepted.
Anyone wishing to donate a cow to the July 31 Mitchell sale should contact Barz at 605-996-2442. The Send a Cow to School campaign will continue through the fall and winter so that cull cows can be donated as cattlemen market their cows throughout the year.