The mission of the Animal Sciences Research and Education Center (ASREC) is to provide animals, facilities, technical assistance and labor to conduct research, provide instruction, and assist in extension educational activities.
Research trials vary from basic to applied and involve many disciplines -- nutrition, physiology, behavior, genetics, reproduction, animal health, and product quality. Faculty utilize the Research and Education Center to facilitate teaching several Animal Sciences courses and to help provide hands-on experience for students. Some Extension education activities held at the Research and Education Center are a Lambing School, Animal Sciences Workshop for Youth, 4-H and FFA judging, Purdue Royal, Tots' Day, and tours of the center.
The land base for the Animal Sciences Research and Education Center (ASREC) consists of 1515 contiguous acres of highly productive prairie soils and is located ten miles northwest of the Purdue campus. There are five separate tracts that were acquired between 1968 and 1987. The Research Center, north of Montmorenci, Indiana, is adjacent to the northwest corner of the Agronomy Research Center. The relocation of animal units to the current location began in 1968. At another location but part of ASREC is the Scholer-Purdue Farm, which was acquired in 1957. This 883-acre farm, located fifteen miles southwest of campus, is managed as part of the Beef Unit and is used for cow-calf production.
The first buildings constructed at ASREC (1969 and 1970) were for swine and poultry. The feed mill was built in 1972. In 1983, state funds were appropriated for construction of the other animal facilities. Relocation was completed in 1988 for all species (beef, dairy, poultry, sheep, and swine) plus a farm shop, business office, and the Indiana Boar Test Station. Additional funds from the University and School of Agriculture were provided for the aquaculture unit, which was completed in 1992. Twelve quarter-acre ponds were constructed at Aquaculture in 1997, which further enhances research capabilities. In 1996, the USDA-ARS Livestock Behavior Unit constructed a 10,000 square foot facility for scientists to identify how animals perceive and respond to their environment.
Each species unit,
feed mill, and
farm operations has a manager and full-time employees. Additionally, there is a coordinator and account clerks at the center, making a total of 36 full-time employees. This staff, besides regular duties, frequently teach classes and labs, present topics at workshops and field days, and conduct tours of the facilities.
Student part-time employees average about 500 hours per week. They are an integral part of the work force, and their experience also provides them with valuable training.
The Center's annual operating budget is approximately $4 million, which is partially subsidized by University funding; however, a major share is generated by sale of animals and animal products.
In 2018, the department embarked on a new
5-year strategic plan for ASREC to develop a vision and set the center on a course to be a premier resource to support the land-grant missions.