NDSU Beef Research Center
North Dakota State University
North Dakota has been and continues to be a place where the agriculture industry and specifically cattle ranching plays a major role in our economy. Our agricultural roots go back to the beginning of our states history and the beef industry is not only part of our economy, but also a part of our states culture and heritage.
NDSU has always been a leader in agricultural research and education and with the design and construction of the NDSU Beef Research Facility, they have made a bold move to stay at the leading edge of animal science research. This facility is one of only three in North America that have the capabilities to control the characteristics of feed mixes and then control and monitor the dietary and developmental results they have in the cattle in real-time as the animals grow to maturity. The implications of this research are far reaching as the data that is collected and analyzed in the field trials of this facility will inform students, faculty, producers and the market of the most efficient and productive way to raise cattle, bring their product to the market, and ultimately the tables around the world. While the design of this facility may not fit the mold of what is typically seen in the architectural publications of the day, it is the story behind this facility and the honest, straightforward expression of its functions that gives this facility its design impact. The large, sweeping roof lines, the repetitive structural elements and exposed technology and processes give this building an aesthetic that fits within the current agricultural vernacular of our region.
The Beef Research Facility is part of an overall complex of buildings that relate to the farms and ranches of North Dakota. As visitors enter the site, they drive through a “courtyard” area between the feed building and the research facility. An entry porch and skylight above the entrance hall provides the warm glow of light that is familiar to many of us that observe the welcoming glow of light coming from the porches and windows of barns and out-buildings throughout our region.