Colleges and universities across the Southeast are home to milk farming; there could be a dairy farm right on your campus that you didn’t know about. These farms strive to educate students about agriculture while improving the dairy industry through their research. Below are some of these university dairies.
Milk Farming on Meadowbrook Farm
Meadowbrook Farm is best known for being a teaching farm for agriculture students at Eastern Kentucky University. The farm hosts tours throughout the year for different schools, ages, and industry groups.
“We love to tell people our story and help explain where their food comes from,” says farm manager Matt Collins. “We want the public to know we provide the best care to our cows and strive to deliver a quality product. Our dairy has provided multiple students with the opportunity to get the training needed to pursue careers within the dairy industry.”
Clemson University Dairy Milk Farming
The Clemson University Dairy Farm was the first farm in South Carolina to utilize a robotic milking system. The state-of-the-art technology allowed researchers to conduct studies in a modern facility and enabled the university the ability to train the next generation of dairy farmers with the most up-to-date technology.
The farm offers tours to university clubs and classes as well as local schools and organizations. The farm brings a calf to campus during the CAFLS (College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences) tailgate in the fall and during Ag Appreciation Week in the spring. The Clemson University Dairy Science Club and their show team is open to students from all majors and does not require any prior experience with dairy cattle to participate.
The goal of the Clemson Dairy Farm is to provide opportunities for research, teaching, and extension activities as well as to provide a quality product for consumers.
NC State Dairy Farm and Howling Cow Creamery
The Howling Cow Creamery and NC State Dairy Farm is best known for Howling Cow ice cream. Howling Cow is a place to enjoy a great scoop of ice cream while receiving an education about the dairy industry and the proper way dairy farmers care for cows and the environment.
The farm offers tours and other educational programs through the Randleigh Dairy Heritage Museum located at the dairy. More than 1,500 adults and kids visit the farm annually. Being a producer-processor, students gain experience in farm-to-spoon production.
In addition to researching food topics like flavor profile, shelf life, and product innovation, the farm uses data collected during the milking process and from activity collars cows wear. This information improves dairy farm management practices.
The University of Georgia Teaching Dairy through Milk Farming
Because of a heavy emphasis on teaching, the University of Georgia’s farm provides hands-on experiences to students. Courses allow students to learn cow handling, general dairy industry techniques, and in-depth management strategies. More specific courses such as applied reproduction and physiology are also taught at the dairy, allowing students to assess pregnancy and breeding strategies.
Research is also done on breeding and genetics in both Holstein and Jersey breeds, as well as milk quality and bacterial culture technology.
The UGA Dairy Science Club holds events annually to reach outside of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES.) The club brings calves to the Tate Student Center during Ag Day and again to campus for the annual calf cuddling held before finals. These events allow students unfamiliar with the dairy industry to ask questions and learn more.
Mississippi State Bearden Dairy Research Center
The Mississippi State University dairy is known for interdisciplinary research done by many departments utilizing the animals and farmland, as well as facilitating teaching labs for students. Most people in the community, however, know the dairy for its world-famous Edam cheese made on campus. Offerings include Edam, Vallagret, and Cheddar cheeses, as well as Muscadine Ripple, Pecan Praline, and other flavors of ice cream. The dairy produces all of the milk for the cafeterias on campus.
Our farm offers a unique and enriching experience that combines agriculture, education, and scientific exploration. The dairy farm serves as a hub for cutting-edge research. It may be involved in studies related to animal health, nutrition, genetics, and sustainable farming practices.
The farm engages with the local community by hosting educational programs, farm tours, and outreach events. This not only educates the public about agriculture but also fosters a sense of community involvement.