NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KETK) – After a fire destroyed the SFA Beef Farm facility in 2018, a donation has been made to help start the rebuilding process.
The facility caught fire in November 2018 overnight. Thankfully no animal or people were injured.
The beef farm is a large part of the animal science program and research that provides hands-on experience to SFA students.
“Our students are fortunate to have an opportunity to learn and conduct research in this real-world, hands-on environment,” said Dr. Scott Gordon, SFA president. “The transformational experiences and various public outreach events at the farm are an important part of the outstanding SFA education.”
The beef farm also provides services to local schools and the community through events and tours. An estimated 5,300 guests visit the research center every year.
“Our animal science faculty members have done a remarkable job adapting to the loss of the Beef Farm facility to fire last year,” said Dr. Hans Williams, dean of the college.
Recently, the SFA Board of Regents approved the construction of a replacement barn with costs projected at $900,000.
Since the fire, students have been working in a makeshift facility with temporary pens for the cattle.
“The fire at the Beef Farm did not injure any individuals or animals, and we plan to begin construction soon on a replacement facility to meet the needs of SFA students majoring in animal science,” said Dr. Hans Williams, dean of the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture.
Luminant donated $10K to help kickstart the process and get students back to learning.
“I want to thank the folks at Luminant for their generous donation toward rebuilding the Beef Research Center at Stephen F. Austin State University,” Clardy said. “Luminant has been a steadfast partner for years, and with this donation, proves again their dedication to our university and students,” said State Representative Travis Clardy.
Friends and alumni who wish to donate funds to aid in the recovery of the facility and its contents may contribute in a variety of ways. To donate online, visit www.sfasu.edu/give. Select “other,” specify “Beef Farm” and follow the designated steps to complete the donation.
Dr. Joey Bray, chair of the Department of Agriculture, said the new facility will increase the department’s ability to provide instruction in areas such as food science and food safety. It will also provide a home for the SFA Purple Premium Cattle Sale that brings more than 300 buyers to campus each fall, as well as the Lumberjack Invitational Steer and Heifer show.