THE University of Wisconsin-Madison dedicated its refurbished Dairy Cattle Center on March 9.
The $3.5 million renovation project began in May 2012.
University of Wisconsin-Madison dairy science department chair Kent Weigel said key benefits of the upgrade include improved animal care and comfort.
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 project received strong industry support, notably from Madison-based BouMatic Inc., which contributed equipment and installation of the milking parlor, and also from donations of stall mats by Promat Inc. and parlor mats by Animat.
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.
"Dairy science is very important to the state, and we appreciate the support we've had from the business community," Weigel said. "Having the cows on campus is a great recruiting tool, and that helps support the future of the dairy business here."