Visiting the Farms

kids petting calfAs part of Iowa State University, the ISU Farms are intended to be an educational resource for students and the community. In order to ensure the safety of visitors, farm staff, and animals, tours of the farms are available through prior appointment only. We require tours to be scheduled 1 week in advance. To schedule a tour, please call the farm contact at the number provided below. If visitors arrive at the farm unannounced, they are encouraged to call the farm superintendent on arrival.

We also offer several annual family-friendly days for children to attend. Please check our website for exact dates but the following items are great for kids:

  • Animal Learning Day, Jeff and Deb Hansen Center April 6, 2019 - farm animals will be at this event
  • June Dairy Days, Dairy Farm (first week of June) - Tours of the farm with lots of kids activities

When attending a tour, please remember the following:

  1. Wear comfortable clothing. Depending on which site you go to, you may be required to change into ISU biosecure clothing.  Iowa State also provides plastic booties to wear over shoes.  
  2. Wear comfortable shoes as quite a bit of walking will be required.
  3. Tours are free and open to the public
  4. We are required to follow the Biosecurity policies that the USDA provides to prevent spread of disease. Please be aware of the following guidelines below.   

Farm Biosecurity Policies:

According to USDA guidelines, the following biosecurity policy applies to ALL visitors, staff, students, and faculty at the Poultry Science Farm: 

  • All visitors must register with farm personnel 
  • Clean clothes and boots/shoes (plastic boots will be provided) that have not been on other farms must be worn 
  • International visitors or travelers must be in the US five days prior to being on the farm 
  • Poultry: No contact with any avian species (including parrots, canaries, etc) or swine for at least 72 hours prior to being on the farm.   
  • Swine:  All visitors must have 48 hours away from other swine prior to visiting the farm. 

Special arrangements will be made for groups of pre-school or school age children. These groups may schedule to visit the farm and view the milking process. Tours are by prior arrangement only, and there are some restrictions.


To schedule a tour, please call the farm contact at the number provided below. We request 1 week advance notice for tours.

Farm Contacts

Farms available for tours:

Dairy Farm:  Mary Healey, 515.296.4219

Beef Teaching Farm:  David Bruene  515.509.9601

Horse Farm:  Nikki Ferwerda, 515.290.7669

Sheep Farm:  Ben Drescher, 515.291.4725

Swine Farm:  Jeff Hartwig, 515.290.3742

Farms not available for tours:

Beef Nutrition Farm:  Greg Messerschmidt, 515.291.4336

Poultry Farm:  Cameron Hall, 515.292.6099

Swine Nutrition Farm

Lauren Christian Swine Research Center