Dairy Teaching and Research Facility
The U.C. Davis Dairy Teaching and Research Facility is located on the main campus at the University of California at Davis. The milking herd of 102 cows, excluding dry cows, is milked two times per day in a modern single six herringbone parlor with automatic takeoffs and cow identification. The system also has computerized production recording and motion monitoring for estrus detection. The rolling herd average is well above 27,000 pounds of energy corrected milk per cow annually. Milk from the dairy is sold to Hilmar Cheese Company , Hilmar, CA. Along with the milk cows, 175 replacement heifers are raised from birth to calving at this facility. Seventy five percent of the herd are registered Holsteins and twenty five percent of the herd are registered Jerseys.
The U.C. Dairy is used extensively for teaching, research, and outreach.
Many formal classes use the dairy facility and its animal throughout the year. Besides these courses, students can enroll in independent studies and internship programs at the dairy to gain practical experience in various aspects of dairy management. In fact, the dairy facility relies heavily upon and encourages student involvement in day-to-day operations. Four students live at the dairy and work for their housing, and students may interview for a full-year student manager internship position. The research mission involves areas such as nutrition, embryo transfer, genetics, and herd health to name a few. Researchers from a number of departments and colleges on the campus use the dairy facility and its animals. The outreach activities of the dairy are varied. Children from elementary schools in the Sacramento Valley tour the dairy each spring, and the animals are used for field days and judging contests. The dairy show team exhibits dairy cattle at various fairs throughout the state during the summer, an activity that is a valuable learning experience for students interested in dairy science and that serves to promote communication between the university and the general public