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Dairy Science Facility Descriptions

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Dairy Cattle Instructional Unit

The Dairy Cattle Instructional Unit allows for a wide range of instructional activities. The facility includes two meeting/classrooms, a nutrition and physiology laboratory, a microbiology laboratory, a computer lab, and a computer system dedicated to software for dairy management practices. The cost to build the facility was $4.5 million.

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Milking Parlor

The Milking Parlor located within the Dairy Cattle Unit is a double-8 rapid-exit herringbone, equipped with automatic takeoffs and a backflush system. The milk passes through an energy-efficient pre-cooling system before being stored in two 3,000-gallon bulk tanks. This dual-tank system allows milk to be segregated by herds, breeds, or specific cow groups for herd management practice or student research projects. The first cows were milked here on June 4, 1992.

Physiology Lab

The Physiology Lab is primarily used for artificial insemination, feed analysis, and dairy biotechnology courses. Students also perform experiments and applications such as embry manipulations and transfer techniques in this lab.

Hospital/Maternity Barn

The Hospital/Maternity Barn is used for calving and doctoring sick animals.

Milking Cow Barn

The Milking Cow Barn hourses the Foundation Dairy Herd, which is primarily used for educational enterprises and is comprised of registered Jersey and Holstein cattle.

Heifer Housing and Project Barn

The Heifer and Project Barn is equipped for individual feeding and allows for a seperate environment for experimental projects. To clean the parlor floors, freestall barns, and all alleyways, a gravity flow flush system is used. Water flows down the flush lanes, enters a sand trap and then a settling tank. From this tank, the solids are pumped into a manure separator. Liquids continue on to the waste lagoons. The liquid is recycled for flushing or irrigation. Solids are composted, dried, and utilized as bedding for the milk cow herd.

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Dairy Products Technology Center

The Dairy Products Teaching Center is the newest addition to the Dairy Science facilities. It was completed in 1996 at a cost of $7.1 million. The Center was formed to help meet the growing needs of California's dairy industry for applied research, industry training, and to develop more trained graduates for careers in the dairy food industries. The DPTC is one of five centers of excellence funded in part by Dairy Management, Inc. and the California Dairy Research Foundation. The DPTC is recognized statewide, nationally and increasingly internationally as a focal point for innovation and training in dairy foods. The DPTC seeks to develop new program emphasis to support global market growth and dairy innovation for the California dairy sector. In addition, it is exploring new program approaches to address the expressed needs for more trained graduates to fill the many technical needs critical to drive product quality and ultimately dairy product sales growth.

People of the DPTC

The Center is led by a Director and 3 full time faculty. It has 10 full time research staff, 15-20 graduate students (MS), and several undergraduate students involved in its activities. The DPTC has established an Industry Advisory Council to help guide program direction of the Center.

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The Center is housed in a 21,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility that is 100% dedicated to serving the dairy sector. The facility includes a well equipped pilot plant, product development labs, and analytical laboratories for microbiological, chemical and fuctional properties testing and research. In addition, Center faculty have established active collaborations within the University, with other faculty at the nation's other dairy centers and with colleagues at several internationally renown dairy research locations. The DPTC provides ample opportunities for dairy research from farm to table.

Program Activities

The Center has established active programs of applied research, outreach, and student training. The applied research program (a portfolio of 15-20 projects) currently emphasizes cheese science and technology, dairy foods quality, dairy ingredients technology, and novel process technologies. The Center's Dairy Ingredients Applications program assists the food industry in the use of dairy ingredients in new and existing food formulations and processes. Its outreach programs serve approximately 400-500 participants annually through its many short courses and symposia. The center routinely addresses phone calls, emails and other requests from trade groups, consumers, media and individual companies. Its graduates are known for their strong focused training in dairy science and technology.

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Cal Poly Creamery

A longstanding tradition of excellence characterizes the Cal Poly Creamery. Part of the largest dairy science program in the country, we have been making high-quality cheese and other dairy products for students, alumni, and the community since 1903. The Creamery is both a teaching laboratory and a manufacturing plant licensed and inspected by the State of California for commercial production of dairy products. Cal Poly students follow the university's philosophy of "learning by doing" as they craft our award-winning cheeses and take courses in all aspects of dairy science and technology (including, dairy production, dairy processing and manufacture of dairy products (e.g., fluid milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, sour cream and ice cream) as part of their academic training under the supervision of dedicated faculty and staff in the dairy science department. Our dairy products are made from our own herd of dairy cows consisting of both Holstein and Jersey that graze on the rolling hills of the Central California Coast. Our commercial products (mainly, cheese and ice cream) can be purchased at the Cal Poly campus market and at select supermarkets on the Central Coast. Combinations of our fine cheeses can be purchased online during the holiday season as gift packs. We work with private industry and we co-pack private label cheese and ice cream for companies, providing additional experience for our students.

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People of the Creamery

The Creamery is run by a Plant Manager and students have a hands on experience with the processing, manufacturing and packaging of all Cal Poly Dairy Products.

Visit the Dairy Products Technology and Creamery Websites!

Dairy Products Technology Center

Cal Poly Creamery