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Remodeled Dairy Cattle Center by the numbers

With the dedication of the remodeled Dairy Cattle Center set for 9:00 a.m. March 9, some facts and figures about the facility are in order. Here is a fact sheet compiled by the Department of Dairy Science (here’s a printable version):

The Dairy Cattle Center

  • The Dairy Cattle Center, home to 84 milking cows on the UW-Madison campus, is part of the university’s Integrated Dairy Facility (IDF). The IDF also includes the Emmons Blaine Dairy Cattle Research Center at Arlington (500 milking cows, 50 young calves and 100 dry cows) and the Marshfield Agricultural Research Station / USDA-ARS Institute for Environmentally Integrated Dairy Management (130 milking cows and 550 growing heifers). Collectively these animals comprise the Allenstein Dairy Herd, named after the late Lee Allenstein, a beloved veterinarian in the state.
  • The original dairy barn at UW-Madison, which is located just west of the current facility, was built in 1898 for a total cost of $16,000. It is now on the National Register of Historic Places. The Dairy Cattle Center was originally built in 1956 to replace the 1898 facility.
  • The current $3.5 million renovation includes these features: a double-6 herringbone milking parlor, evaporative cooling ventilation system, 84 tie-stalls (49” wide x 72” long), two upright silos (18’ diameter x 60’ height), grain bins, feed mixing equipment, manure handling system and teaching arena. The project was undertaken to update feed storage, milking facilities, ventilation and living conditions for the cattle.
  • The milking parlor, named the BouMatic Milking Center, was donated and installed by BouMatic, Inc. The Madison-based firm is a global leader in design and manufacture of milking equipment, stalls and other products for the dairy industry.
  • Stall mats were contributed by Promat Inc. (Woodstock, Ont.) and parlor mats by Animat (Sherbrooke, Que.).
  • The Dairy Cattle Center is used primarily for teaching in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and the School of Veterinary Medicine. It will be used for 15 classes in dairy science and the UW Farm and Industry Short Course and hands-on training of new food animal veterinarians. It will also be used for research projects that require close proximity to campus laboratories.
  • The Dairy Cattle Center is staffed largely by undergraduate students. Three student managers live in dorm rooms on the second floor. One of these, the Allenstein Dairy Herd Management Training Scholar, takes a lead role in supervising the herd’s health as well as its use by veterinary medical students.
  • Additional projects slated for the coming year include construction of a women’s locker room and remodeling of the second-floor teaching lab with funding from the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences; and remodeling of the second-floor lecture hall with funding from the Delma Woodburn donation to Farm and Industry Short Course.
  • In addition to teaching and research, the Dairy Cattle Center hosts many youth and community outreach activities, including school field trips, Grandparents University and Badger Dairy Camp as well as programs that focus on educating K-12 students, non-agricultural UW-Madison students, and citizens of the Madison area about modern dairy production practices.

Dairy at UW-Madison

  • The Department of Dairy Science (established in 1938) has 80 undergraduate students, 40 graduate students, 12 faculty, 7 affiliate faculty and 45 full- or part-time staff. It is ranked #5 nationally among animal sciences programs by The Chronicle in Higher Education (despite the fact that UW-Madison is the only high-ranking university with separate dairy science and animal sciences departments) and #1 nationally among animal science departments according to the Academic Analytics Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index.
  • The Farm and Industry Short Course program (established in 1885) has an enrollment of approximately 130 students who, after a one- or two-year study period, enter Wisconsin’s agricultural workforce. About 65% of these students choose the Dairy Management emphasis.
  • UW-Madison’s School of Veterinary Medicine (established in 1983) produces about 80 new veterinarians per year and is known for excellent instructional, research and outreach activities focused on the major animal health and welfare problems affecting Wisconsin’s dairy industry.
  • Faculty members in the Department of Dairy Science currently have $6.64 million in active sponsored research projects – approximately $550,000 per scientist.
  • The Department of Dairy Science offers 22 undergraduate courses in dairy cattle genetics, ruminant nutrition, lactation physiology, reproductive biology, dairy herd management and related subjects.
  • About 30% of students who graduate with a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Dairy Science enter veterinary or graduate school, approximately 40% gain employment with companies that serve the dairy industry, and roughly 30% become owners and/or managers of commercial dairy farms. Average starting salary for our BS graduates is $50,000 per year.
  • The new dairy facilities at the Emmons Blaine Dairy Cattle Research Center in Arlington were completed in 2008, and the new dairy facilities at the Marshfield Agricultural Research Station / USDA-ARS Institute for Environmentally Integrated Dairy Management were completed in 2011.

Dairy in Wisconsin

  • Wisconsin is home to 11,300 dairy farms and 1,265,000 dairy cows. The average Wisconsin dairy cow produces 21,345 pounds (2572 gallons) of milk per year, and Wisconsin farms produce 26.1 billion pounds of milk per year (#2 nationally), which is used to create 2.64 billion pounds of cheese (#1), 361 million pounds of butter (#1), and 296 million pounds of dry whey products for human consumption (#1).
  • Wisconsin’s dairy industry contributes $26.5 billion to our economy each year, making it the state’s largest industry segment – each cow generates $21,000 in economic activity annually. The industry employs more than 146,000 people,(nearly 40% of agricultural jobs in our state.
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