Dairy Facilities

The OSU Dairy Research Center is located on 180 acres one-and-a-half miles west of campus in Corvallis, Oregon. The main barn was built in 1968 following a fire that destroyed the original barn at the current site. The OSU campus in Corvallis has had a dairy facility for over 100 years.

Many upgrades have taken place through the years to keep the facility consistent with modern dairy operations. The operation has capabilities such as pedometers to measure activity for breeding and resting time, a scale that weighs each cow twice a day, and probes and meters which measure the composition of the milk (milk fat, milk protein, conductivity of the milk, pounds of milk, somatic cell count of the milk, and presence of blood).

The main purpose of the facility is to support research and teaching for the Animal Science Department.  In 2012, the milking cows were sold to provide money for needed upgrades to the facility.  In September 2013, an alumnus generously donated 30 Jersey cows to help get the unit milking again.  The new milking herd consists of 60 registered Jerseys and Holsteins, as some of the original OSU heifers were retained during the improvement.  The focus has shifted from a production-based system, to more of a forage based feeding system in hopes to broaden the horizons of education and research.

Researchers from various disciplines use the facility to conduct research in areas such as: ruminant nutrition, reproduction, animal behavior, animal health and herd management, and crop/grass production. A variety of classes (from elementary middle, high school, college, and graduate level) and clubs utilize the dairy for learning experiences.

Labor for the dairy is supplied by the manager, a full-time employee, and students. Students are heavily involved in daily activities at the Dairy Center. This gives students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the dairy industry.