The ISU Farms are directly linked to the origins of Iowa State University
ISU opened in 1869 as the Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm from legislation enacted in 1858. The pioneer legislators knew the power of showing science in agriculture for Iowa and created the Model Farm. The Model Farm occupied much of the area that is now the ISU campus. The original model farm and college was about 640 acres in Story County. The campus has grown to approximately 2,000 acres. The ISU Farms currently manage approximately 16,000 acres at many strategic sites in 20 Iowa counties partnering with local farm associations, the ISU Foundation, and the Committee for Agricultural Development, an affiliated organization. These farms with crops, pastures, prairie, woodlands and livestock, support the teaching, research and extension programs of the ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences for all Iowans.