Alright, Purdue fans, here’s a June Dairy Month farm just for you! And check out the recipe at the end for a tasty treat while tailgating!
(And for those of you in disbelief–yes, Purdue does have a dairy farm! The farm works with the university’s College of Agriculture and Purdue’s county extension and research branches.)
The dairy farm at Purdue University serves as a research station for farm management practices, offers jobs and learning experiences to Purdue students, and is a fully operational working dairy farm. About 210 Holstein cows and 250 young replacement heifers (future dairy cows) call Purdue home. The farm also has about 20 Brown Swiss dairy cows for teaching and extension.
The farm is run by manager Mike Grott, an assistant manager, seven full time equivalent technicians and several part-time student workers. Because it is used for research, the farm has electronic scales for weighing animals, space for demonstrations and classes, and a metabolism unit. The metabolism unit allows researchers to collect feces and urine samples from animals and study individual animals more closely. These animals can be fed and milked individually so accurate data can be collected. The research area also uses two geothermal fields (energy from beneath the earth) for temperature control.
The dairy cows are milked twice daily in a newly renovated parlor, once at 5:30 a.m. and again at 4:30 p.m. The observation deck, housed in the research building, is open for visitors who wish to watch the milking. You can also take a virtual tour of the farm on their website. You can also catch up on Purdue’s Dairy Club activities by checking out their Facebook page.