Students at Virginia Tech will now how the opportunity to enjoy milk at their dining hall that has been produced by the Virginia Tech Dairy Center.
Students will harvest the milk on campus from the herd of dairy cows at Virginia Tech’s Dairy Center. The milk will then be pasteurized by the James River Department of Agribusiness and served through the milk dispensers beginning Tuesday, Jan. 22.
This project marks another positive step for Dining Services’ sustainability initiatives. Ted Faulkner, director of Dining Services, said the move towards more sustainable practices was largely influenced by feedback from students.
Dining centers have been using meats purchased from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’s Meat Science Center for over two years, and the university’s Kentland Farm provides local produce through the Dining Services Garden at Kentland Farm.
“This will be the highest quality milk served on campus,” said Shane Brannock, the dairy farm superintendent. The milk produced and harvested at the dairy consistently surpasses Department of Agriculture standards. Though milk is always tested once it reaches the processing facility, Virginia Tech’s dairy also tests its milk before shipping for quality assurance and research purposes.
Similar to the Meat Science Center and Kentland Farms, the Dairy Center supports the university’s focus on teaching, extension, and research. Dairy science classes meet at the dairy for at least one lab each week, and 10 to 15 students work in the dairy each semester. These students work directly in the milking parlor, harvesting milk and feeding the herd.
Source: Virginia Tech, Written by Kimberly Bassler.