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Madison Dairy Research Center, Babcock Hall to be Renovated
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 04/12/2018

The Wisconsin State Building Commission has approved plans to overhaul the Center for Dairy Research and Babcock Hall Dairy Plant at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. That's after the UW System Board of Regents provided a green light for the project last week once it was discovered that the facilities have not been renovated since the 1950s and that it could be shut down if upgrades were not made.

The size and scope of the project will cost nearly $47 million. Center Director John Lucey says the upgrades will help the facility reach its full potential, while giving students an opportunity to advance their skills in cheesemaking.

"Wisconsin is a leader in the dairy industry, not only because of abundance of high quality milk and state-of-the-art plants we have here, but also because our cheesemakers have had access to the best educational opportunities and research and development support in the world," said John Umhoefer of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association. "The Center for Dairy Research and Babcock Dairy Hall are long overdue for upgrades, and this project is essential to preserving Wisconsin's reputation as the Dairy State and expanding our dairy exports overseas."

As part of the expansion, the Center for Dairy Research will get a new auditorium that can seat about 100 students. Other labs and kitchens located next to the auditorium will also be constructed.

Meanwhile, the building commission has also approved a $4 million Dairy Pilot Plant renovation at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

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