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CALS cows come home

new_CALS_cowsThe public is invited to help welcome the cows back to campus as the University of Wisconsin-Madison dedicates its refurbished Dairy Cattle Center on Saturday, March 9.

Doors at the facility at 1815 Linden Dr. will be open to the public from 9–11:30 a.m., with a brief program scheduled for 9:30 a.m. During that time visitors can tour the building and visit with the people who take care of the dairy herd.

Speakers at the dedication program will include Kate VandenBosch, dean of the UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS), dairy science department chair Kent Weigel and representatives of Wisconsin’s $26-billion-a-year-dairy industry.

“We’re hoping people will stop by and see the barn,” says Weigel. “We’re pretty proud of what we have here.”

The $3.5 million renovation project began in May 2012. Weigel says that improved animal care and comfort were among key benefits of the upgrade. Improvements include 84 bigger and more comfortable stalls, water-chilled ventilation, a new public viewing area, more efficient manure-handling system and new silos.

The Dairy Cattle Center is used for teaching 15 dairy science and Farm and Industry Short Course classes, hands-on training of new food animal veterinarians, and research projects that require close monitoring by campus-based scientists. The campus facility is integrated with larger dairy facilities at the university’s Arlington and Marshfield Agricultural Research Stations.