Institute for Agriculture


While many institutions limit practical onsite opportunities, at Buena Vista University students get involved right away. Perform research in the state-of-the-art Estelle Siebens Science Center, or put theory into practice at our Agricultural Experiment Station, located just minutes from campus. Our facilities enable you to get hands-on with agriculture!

Student in barn, with black cow in the background

A Hands-On Approach to Ag

At Buena Vista University, your agricultural learning is enhanced by real experience on our Agricultural Experiment Station (AES). Located just outside the Storm Lake city limits, the diversified agricultural operation provides "real-world" spaces for BVU faculty and students to put concepts into practice.

Key Enterprises

Cow/Calf Pairs






Located in the heart of Midwest ag country, you’ll have opportunities at BVU that you can’t find at any other institution. Institute for Agriculture

Students in class on a farm

This is the Ag Experiment Station

The Agricultural Experiment Station is where we take the classroom outside. It a place for doers and cultivators to learn and collaborate in a practical agriculture setting. These real experiences will give you the edge for a successful future in ag.

High-Tech Research Facilities

Take advantage of the 70,000-square-foot Estelle Siebens Science Center, complete with cutting-edge labs and research facilities. 

  • Confocal microscope
  • Spectrophotometers
  • Gene guns
  • Specimens and skeletons
  • Sterile hoods
  • Labs fully equipped to study DNA and RNA
  • Thermal cyclers
  • UV and chemiluminescent imaging equipment
  • Greenhouse with three environmental growth chambers

Exterior image of a brick building with large glass atrium

From field to yield

Growing Experience

Your lab is hundreds of acres of farmland! Learning on a fully-functioning facility, like our AES, enables you to completely understand the logistics of crop production. You will literally get your hands dirty, exploring the science behind growth in the field. Your lab experiences have a real effect on crop yield and market.

Student taking notes about cattle

Experiences Abound

There are countless opportunities for gaining practical agricultural skills in the Estelle Siebens Science Center, and on our AES. Whether you come from an agricultural background and are highly familiar with operations, or from a city with no rural experience, our facilities are the perfect place to prepare for a future in agriculture.

Students in class near feeding cattle
Mike Christen

Mike Christen

Land Manager, Institute for Agriculture

In 2008, Mike started the Circle C Cattle Company on his family farm north of Storm Lake. Mike's focus is raising club calves, with a cow herd that includes pure bred lines of Angus, Simmental and Shorthorns. The focus of Mike’s management is to optimize herd genetics by emphasizing confirmation and structural soundness in developing quality seedstock to grow a regionally recognized cow herd.

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Explore an Agriculture Degree

Find out more about earning bachelor’s degrees in agriculture with BVU.

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Student and farm dog