College of Agriculture & Natural Resources

Charles ('65) & Judy ('66) Iager

Quote: 
“(The farm) really makes a lot of students feel at home, at least the ones who love animals.”
Biography: 

Charles & Judy Iager

Donation: $250,000 to name The Charles ('65) and Judy ('66) Iager Livestock Ring

When they were first courting, Charlie ’65 and Judy ’66 Iager used to stroll hand-in-hand down the aisles of the cow barn on the Campus Farm.

As a dairy science major, he spent much of his time on the Campus Farm. As a big fan of animals and, eventually, of Charlie, so did she. Nearly 50 years later, the farm is still the first place the couple visits when they travel to College Park from their dairy farm in Fulton, Md. “It’s like going home,” says Charlie.  

The Iagers are now helping to ensure the farm’s revitalization, making a six-figure gift to kick off a $3 million fundraising effort for its first major renovation in 50 years.

The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ $6 million project calls for replacing an asphalt parking area in the center of the farm with a covered livestock pen that allows seated students and visitors to observe instructors working with animals. A new enclosed 18,000-square-foot teaching pavilion will also provide classroom and viewing areas.

Nestled among dormitories, sports arenas and classroom buildings, the property is unique among urban universities along the East Coast and serves as a nod to UMD’s roots as an agricultural college.   

Today, the campus farm is about 4.3 acres in size, a far cry from the 90-plus acres that included a working dairy operation when the facility was launched in 1937. But it endures as a vital, hands-on teaching lab for students in the burgeoning animal science program. Enrollment has climbed from about 180 in 2002 to 288 today, with students studying everything from applied animal physiology to equine behavior to commercial poultry management.

“(The farm) really makes a lot of students feel at home, at least the ones who love animals,” says Judy. “It’s important to have a nice, updated facility where they can feel comfortable and relate.”

The Iagers hope that by helping the Campus Farm get a facelift, they’ll be encouraging the next crop of Terps to create their own memories there.

“You go to college so you can learn for the rest of your life,” says Charlie.  “The University of Maryland is where it all started for us."

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