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UW-Madison Dairy Center to be Upgraded
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 01/13/2012

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has unveiled more details on its plan to remodel the school's dairy cattle center. According to Kent Weigel, who chairs the dairy science department at UW-Madison, the university will undertake a $3 million remodeling project starting in May. The purposed of the plan is to enable better animal care.

Last month, Wisconsin Ag Connection reported that the state's building commission unanimously approved a proposal to renovate the dairy science facilities at the campus. Weigel says the barns will be equipped with better cooling and ventilation and bigger, more comfortable stalls. The facilities will be shared by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and the School of Veterinary Medicine, which recently combined their herds.

"While we use it for research, it is primarily a teaching barn," Weigel says. "Our dairy science undergraduates may go through it 30 to 40 times in a semester depending on what classes and labs they're taking, and we typically have 85 or so undergrad students enrolled in our program."

Specifically, the project entails replacing the milking parlor with a new, larger parlor located on the east end of building. The current animal stalls will also be replaced with 82 larger, padded stalls. Three 80-foot tall feed storage silos will take the place of the six smaller silos currently on site. The project will also add a new, more efficient manure-handling system and water-chilled power fan ventilation. An existing feed storage area will be converted to a teaching arena.

Weigel says the project will not involve the nearby historic University of Wisconsin Dairy Barn, which is no longer used for dairy teaching or research.

The completion of the project later this year will mark the end of an effort to upgrade all of the university's dairy cattle facilities. Earlier phases involved new construction at the Arlington and Marshfield Agricultural Research Stations.

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