Physical improvements at the Southern Utah State College farm in Cedar Valley will help the college achieve its goals for an agricultural master plan more quickly than expected.

"Our request to the Legislature in 1989 will be much more than simply a shopping list of building repairs and alteration," said Dan Dail, associate professorof animal science. "It is a big step in our philosophy of making the Valley Farm a land laboratory - and more - in much the same sense as a chemistry or biology lab, a concert hall, or a theater stage serves certain disciplines." As part of its capital budget request, SUSC is seeking funds for the maintenance and repair of four facilities. An old dairy barn, now used as a classroom and demonstration area, is to be remodeled and three auxiliary buildings will be removed and replace. Utilities and drainage will also be improved.

Dail envisions the land laboratory as more than simply a means to reinforce lecture theory.

"In the true spirit of liberal arts and sciences education, this resource can and should be used to promote entrepreneurism, demonstrate responsible stewardship of the land, provide a form for discussion and exploration of new technology, and generate community learning opportunities," he said.

The SUSC agricultural program emphasizes crop and animal sciences and agribusiness principles.

"SUSC is strategically located to serve as a center for agricultural studies for a large area of Utah and portions of Nevada and Arizona," Dail said. "The area has a strong and colorful agricultural history in a state where agriculture is the number one industry, yielding a total asset value of $8 billion and 21 percent of the jobs.

"The elements are here for the emergence of a strong agricultural technology instruction program," Dail said.