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Dordt and Trans Ova agree to cooperate

The Dordt College dairy is gone. In September, the college sold the portion of the Agriculture Stewardship Center on which the dairy was built to Trans Ova Genetics, a local biotech company. In addition to the purchase price, Trans Ova agreed to work with Dordt College in the area of biotechnology, providing internships for agriculture, biology, and chemistry majors and participating in discussions about biotechnology with the college community.

“We had decided to close the dairy earlier,” says Dr. Wes Jamison. The decision was the result of an evaluation of the role of the ASC in the agriculture program. The outdated dairy did not contribute enough to the educational program to warrant the costs connected with keeping it running.

“To be good stewards, we began looking for someone who could use the facilities. We were open to many options,” says Jamison.

At the same time Trans Ova was looking for replacement facilities. “It was a natural match,” says Jamison. The plot of land offered a bio-secure location since it is surrounded by animal-free land. It also borders ASC land, making cooperation and internship opportunities convenient.

Although the arrangement happened as Dordt College is studying whether to offer its own biotech program, the two developments are separate from one another. Whether or not a biotech major or emphases are offered, agriculture, biology, business, chemistry, and engineering majors can take advantage of the internship opportunities offered by Trans Ova. The college and Trans Ova are open to new opportunities for cooperation that may result from the agreement.