Lakeland College is moving its bison herd to a new location.
By the end of the month, the bison will be relocated to their new home south of Vermillion thanks to the generosity of Armin and Rita Mueller.
A historic $4 million donation from the couple was specifically identified for that purpose.
Lakeland bought the land which includes eight contiguous quarters, handling facilities, outbuildings, fencing and full services for $7,780,000.
Dr. Alice Wainwright-Stewart, president and CEO of Lakeland College says this is the biggest gift Lakeland has ever received.
"The impact it will have on our students, our campus and our farm will be a long-lasting one. We’re honored that Rita and Armin have entrusted us with carrying on their legacy in the bison industry.”
Geoff Brown, dean of the School of Agricultural Sciences at Lakeland says the addition of a bison herd to our agricultural sciences programming not only gives our students experiential learning opportunities with the bison, it expands our entire program, strengthening our ability to teach our students about sustainable range and forage management.
"It also opens opportunities for the college to partner with bison organizations to complete applied research projects to increase efficiency and profitability in the industry."
Lakeland is the first post-secondary institution in the country with a commercial bison operation.