New hay barn and livestock cover makes its way into fruition

Contributed by Breanna Barker | Sophomore | Agricultural Communication

Senior projects – a long-standing tradition at Cal Poly that students either look forward or dread and often, both. Yet, news of a senior project from almost 20 years ago finally coming to completion warms the hearts of many.

The new hay barn and livestock cover at the Cal Poly rodeo grounds happen to be a perfect example of the lasting impact of senior projects.

Levi Rosser (Agriculture Systems Management, ’03) is a third-generation Cal Poly rodeo athlete and legacy of the rodeo program. Rosser’s grandfather, Cotton Rosser (Animal Science, ’52), started Cal Poly’s rodeo program.

As his senior project, Rosser designed a plan for the construction of a new barn for the rodeo unit. Due to the rodeo unit not being deemed a permanent facility, and other roadblocks, Rosser’s plan slowly got pushed aside.

Cal Poly’s rodeo unit is finally welcoming the long-awaited barn Rosser designed. The barn is over 11,000-square-feet. Designed to keep hay, grain, and practice stock dry and out of the weather, the barn is solving a problem for the students in the rodeo program.

“Previously, keeping animals happy and commodities dry had been difficult,” Rodeo Coach Ben Londo (Construction Management, ’07) said. “Building a barn had been a priority since the rodeo facility was moved in 1999.”

Rosser now owns Rosser Enterprises, which specializes in metal building construction. This expertise allowed Rosser and his father, Lee Rosser (Agriculture Business Management, ’75), and their team to see the barn built.

“This was my senior project 17 years ago,” Rosser said, “and it’s great to be the one to build it. The Cal Poly Rodeo program is the best in the country, and we want to keep it that way.”

Londo added, “This project has come full circle. It’s a win for Cal Poly, the rodeo program, and the CSU system.”

The final cost of the barn ended up just over $250,000, well under the original $1.2 million estimate.

Thank you to Joann Lloyd and Ben Londo for their help with information in this post.