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From left Dean Kate VandenBosch, Dairy Science Chair, Kent Weigel and BouMatic President Bob Luna are all proud of the BouMatic Milking Center at the newly remodeled Dairy Cattle Center at the Madison campus. <br /><br />

From left Dean Kate VandenBosch, Dairy Science Chair, Kent Weigel and BouMatic President Bob Luna are all proud of the BouMatic Milking Center at the newly remodeled Dairy Cattle Center at the Madison campus.

Photo By John Oncken

Newly renovated Dairy Cattle Center attracts crowd

March 13, 2013 | 0 comments


There were at least a thousand visitors in attendance for the "Dairy Cattle Center Dedication" held last Saturday, March 9, on the agricultural campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison according to Mike Peters, dairy herd administrator.

Although no official crowd count was made, Peters said he passed out over a thousand pair of plastic boots for those planning to tour the new barn. "I’ll bet that’s a pretty good figure," Peters says.

The dedication and open house for the newly remodeled UW-Madison Dairy Cattle Center included a formal program and tours of the $3.5-million renovation project that started last May .

Some 200 people crowded the space that had housed the milking parlor for some 56 years before being removed last summer. Instead of cows the space will be devoted to a women’s locker room and an expanded visitors center.

Kent Weigel, Chair of the Department of Dairy Science told how the $3.5-million project had it birth some 15 years ago and had been on the "to do" list of three College of Agriculture Deans; Elton Aberle, Molly Jahn and now VandenBosch, and a host of department of dairy science chairmen.

Weigel acknowledged that renovating the 1956 building without changing it’s footprint in the rather crowded setting was not easy. But, the final result completes the Integrated Dairy Facility Program that includes the 500-cow Emmons Blaine Research Center at Arlington and the Institute for Environmentally Integrated Dairy Management at the Marshfield Agricultural Research Center.

He emphasized that improved animal care and comfort were among key benefits of the upgrade and that it will serve as an important educational tool for the 80 Dairy Science students, the 120 Farm Short Course attendees and the School of Veterinary Medicine.

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean, Kate VandenBosch thanked the people who had worked for so many years to carry out the long-term dairy facility upgrade and called it a facility that "will reach many, many people and serve the several aspects of the college."

Gary Oetzel, Associate Professor, School of Veterinary Medicine said the several dairy herds are now combined into the Lee Allenstein herd in honor of the famed veterinarian who served a private practice, taught at the Vet School and was the longtime world Dairy Expo veterinarian.

He also said that the barn and the vet school are only a couple hundred yards apart - a great asset.

Shelly Meyer, executive director of the PDPW told of plans to improve efforts to increase the number of visitors to the facility and spread increased knowledge of dairying through schools and other groups who have never before connected with cows.

Lee Teng Hsu, vice president of BouMatic, outlined her company’s strong commitment to support the UW-Madison

"We support the health and welfare of dairy cows and helping the next generation of dairy leaders in their learning and training. with the latest milking technology. We are the only US-based full service dairy equipment company," Hsu says. "This donation for the BouMatic Milking Center reinforces our support of dairy education and innovation," Hsu added.

Other barn improvements in addition to the double-6 herringbone milking parlor include: an evaporative cooling ventilation system, 84 tie-stalls, two upright silos, 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 with modern stall mats contributed by Promat Inc. (Woodstock, Ont.) and Animat (Sherbrooke, Que.)

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.

It’s location, in the heart of the UW ag campus allows dairy science and veterinary students - many of whom were not raised on dairy farms - to work with and become familiar with dairy cows.

The Dairy Cattle Center was originally built in 1956 to replace the original 1898 dairy barn that still stands (largely unused) a couple hundred feet away.


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