SIU farms feeling effects from budget impasse

(Source: KFVS)
(Source: KFVS)
(Source: KFVS)
(Source: KFVS)

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - The budget impasse in Illinois continues to hit universities hard and the latest casualty at Southern Illinois University may be SIU Farms.

Lillian Hayhurst is a student and animal science major.

"I wanted to find some place that I could call home down here," she said. "And for me, it's the farms."

She grew up on a farm and said she loves animals so much, she wants to make a career out of it.

Alyssa Wolf is another animal science major.

"I spend most of my class time out at the barns," she said. "I work with our pigs, I work with our cows, I have equine classes with horses. I definitely do spend a good amount of the time out here, either between class time or volunteering or getting hands-on experience."

Wolf wants to spend her life around animals too, but the budget crisis in Illinois is forcing SIU to make some cuts and that could include the university farm.

"Honestly, if we lose the farm system here, we lose the college because this is a college about agriculture and it's all about getting dirty and it's about showing students what's right and what's wrong - what are the limitations? And the only way to do that is with livestock, crops, forestry, all of the things that this college offers," said Dr. Gary Apgar, professor of animal science.

The bull test station is part of the university farm system, which was created to test the genetics of the bull. It's just part of this big and important farm.

Associate Dean Karen Midden said any cuts to this farm will be hard to absorb.

"That cut in funding just makes it difficult to serve our role to the public in educating young people to go into the future and be educated in their careers and serving the needs to agriculture to society," Midden said.

The committee is recommending eliminating more than $108,000 in funding over five years.

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