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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

June 18, 2009

Dairy open house

Photos by Bob Elbert.

A day at the dairy

by Erin Rosacker

Visitors to the ISU dairy farm's June 12 open house enjoyed guided tours (above) and an ag discovery center (below) as part of a dairy month celebration. Leo Timms, associate professor of animal science, said an estimated 1,200 visitors took advantage of free tours, dairy product samples and exhibits.

Highlights of the event are available in a slide show with accompanying audio on the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences web site.

Dairy farm facts:

  • ISU currently has six breeds of dairy cattle in production: Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Jersey, Guernsey, Holstein and Milking Shorthorn
  • Production cows are kept for about four lactation periods, or roughly seven years
  • Each cow produces about 81 pounds (9-10 gallons) of milk per day
  • ISU sells its milk to Swiss Valley Farms, Davenport, which picks up 47,000 to 50,000 pounds of milk every two days

The dairy farm, which welcomed its first cows in November 2007, is located just south of Ames (52470 260th St.). Tours are available by appointment. Drop-in visitors are welcome in the foyer area to observe the milking parlor. Milking takes place twice a day (5 a.m. and 5 p.m.), and lasts five hours.

Dairy open house


A photo slide show with tour audio is available on the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences web site.