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Dairy Learning Center Dedication:

UWRF Agriculture Programs Take Another Step Forward

SEPT. 28, 2007--A ribbon cutting ceremony for the new University of Wisconsin-River Falls Dairy Learning Center, a $9.3 million state-of-the-art agricultural learning facility, will be held on Friday, Oct. 12 at 2:30 p.m. at the Mann Valley Lab Farm.

The UWRF Mann Valley Lab Farm is north of River Falls along St. Croix County Trunk Highway MM. In addition, a community open house and tour is set for Oct. 11 from 5 to 7 p.m. and an open house and tour for the public and alumni who are visiting during UWRF's Homecoming weekend is Oct. 13 from 8 to 11 a.m.  

Speakers at the ceremony include College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences Dean Dale Gallenberg, Chancellor Don Betz, UW System Regent Jesus Salas, UW System Administration David Miller, Wisconsin Milk Marking Board rep Matt Joyce and Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls).

"Today's official opening of the Dairy Learning Center marks the end of a 15-year effort by dozens of visionary and persistent regents, administrators, faculty, staff, students and friends of our College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences to secure this learning facility," says Betz. "Their efforts mark the beginning of a new era in the university's historic commitment to dairy education. We at UWRF salute and thank all those who made this day possible."

Programs in agricultural sciences have been a key part of the education provided at UW-River Falls for nearly 100 years. The new Dairy Learning Center, constructed at the Mann Valley Lab Farm, will replace the existing dairy facility that has been operating on the campus lab farm since 1957. This new Dairy Learning Center will offer even greater educational opportunities to UWRF students as well as those in the agricultural industries. The new facility contains all elements needed to run a commercial dairy operation, plus technology enhanced classrooms and other educational facilities.

The Dairy Learning Center will utilize an environmentally friendly composted bedding housing system for 100 milking cows plus calves and heifers, and is designed to provide a comfortable environment for the cows. After removal from the cattle barns, the bedding material will be placed into windrows and the composting process will continue.

The final compost product will be available for purchase by the public for use in gardens and landscaping, and the farm will also apply the compost as fertilizer on the fields. Many other features of the facility have been developed to showcase positive interactions within a rural-urban interface, including systems to minimize wastewater in which water to cool the milk will be reused for the livestock, and equipment wash water will be reused to wash floors and in some cases for irrigation.

"The Dairy Learning Center will be a living, hands-on classroom for students who are studying not only dairy science, but many other programs within the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences and across the UWRF campus." says Steve Kelm, chair of the department of animal and food science. "The old dairy facility has served us very well in the past, but the new facility offers a significant upgrade in technology for the dairy operation and most importantly, for student learning."


Last updated: Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:08:31 Central Daylight Time


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