The AGEDS 450 farm is a 625-acre land owned by Iowa State University, which stands out as one of the successful models of transformation of higher education with the goal of functioning as a student-run farm management laboratory.
Its story goes all the way back to 1943. The Farm Management and Operation course has evolved to modern trends in experiential education, applying the Team-Based Learning or TBL method since 2015, emphasizing teamwork, planning, problem solving, communication, critical thinking, decision making and implementation of all of these in class.
Currently, the AGEDS 450 farm is a 100% student-run agricultural operation consisting of corn, soybean, and swine production. The class is separated into six committees that cover the entire farm management.
During the semester, all students are required to identify a 4-hour activity related to farm management and operations. Once their activity is identified, students then plan the activity, physically complete the activity, and finally, reflect on their experience. In addition, specific objectives established in state legislation must be met such as the Natural Resource Conservation Service and the Iowa Crop and Livestock Reporting Service, to ensure that both crops and animal production are carried out under competitive standards.
The university aim is that by the end of the course students have the ability to evaluate, update, and alter the production and marketing goals of the farm as the landscape of agriculture evolves.