Meet Your Milk at UNH Open Barn June 21

Meet Your Milk at UNH Open Barn June 21

The NH Agricultural Experiment Station (NHAES) at the UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture (COLSA) and the Granite State Dairy Promotion invite the public to come “meet your milk” at the UNH Open Barn. 

Granite State Dairy Promotion Co-Hosts Statewide Event at Fairchild Dairy

Granite State Dairy Promotion co-hosts the statewide event at the NHAES/UNH COLSA Fairchild Dairy.

The NH Agricultural Experiment Station (NHAES) at the University of New Hampshire College of Life Sciences and Agriculture (COLSA) and the Granite State Dairy Promotion invite the public to come “meet your milk” at the UNH Open Barn Saturday, June 21, 2014. The annual statewide event, which is free and open to the public, takes place at the NHAES/COLSA Fairchild Dairy Teaching and Research Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“The UNH Open Barn is an annual event we’re proud to be a part of. Connecting consumers with their local dairy food system is of the utmost importance. It’s a day of educational fun for the entire family. We encourage people to enjoy the facility, meet the staff, and of course, the cows,” said Amy Hall, director of Granite State Dairy Promotion.

The event gives the public the chance to see a working New Hampshire dairy farm that is representative of a typical New England dairy operation. Free New Hampshire-made milk and ice cream, wagon rides, tours, and visits with the UNH milking cows and calves are the highlights of the day’s activities. Visitors can try their hands at making butter and ice cream, enjoy games and prizes, and learn surprising facts about dairy nutrition and the dairy industry in New Hampshire.

According to Granite State Dairy Promotion, New Hampshire has approximately 130 dairy farms with an average of 115 milking animals per farm. The New Hampshire dairy industry strongly impacts state and local economies with more than $141 million in total output, 3,717 jobs, and more than $19 million in labor income.

Celebrating its 25th year of operation this year, the Fairchild Dairy Teaching and Research Center develops new knowledge and management expertise geared directly toward many state and regional stakeholders. It houses 87 milking-age Holstein and Jersey cows and approximately 70 growing, replacement animals. Included in that number is the 20-cow, student-managed Cooperative for Real Education in Agricultural Management (CREAM) herd, with the remaining animals devoted primarily to research in the area of dairy nutrition and reproductive biology.

Cows at the Fairchild Dairy produce an average of about 26,000 to 27,000 pounds of milk per cow per year for the CREAM and research herds, which is greater than the national average of about 22,000 pounds per cow a year.

In 2012 and 2013, the Fairchild Dairy Center received a Gold Quality award from the Dairy Farmers of America. In 1999, the farm was cited as a Dairy of Distinction by the Milk Sanitation Board, which in 2000 awarded it a Certificate of Quality. In 1997, the CREAM herd was recognized for having the highest quality milk (lowest somatic cell count) from among approximately 3,100 dairy herds on the official Northeast Dairy Herd Improvement Association test.

The Keener Dairy Research Building, which honors Harry Keener, former long-time director of NHAES and dean of the UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, sits adjacent to the Fairchild Dairy Center and houses multiple laboratories, offices, and research support areas for associated faculty, staff, and graduate students.

The Fairchild Dairy Center is located at 36 O’Kane Road off Mast Road Extension in Durham. It is open to the public seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visitors can observe the milking of cows at 3:30 p.m. each day. Map: http://www.colsa.unh.edu/aes/directions/Fairchild.

Granite State Dairy Promotion is a nonprofit organization funded by New Hampshire dairy farmers. Granite State Dairy Promotion aims to increase demand for dairy products and a deeper appreciation for family owned farms.

Founded in 1887, the NH Agricultural Experiment Station at the UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture is UNH’s original research center and an elemental component of New Hampshire's land-grant university heritage and mission. We steward federal and state funding to provide unbiased and objective research concerning diverse aspects of sustainable agriculture, aquaculture, forest management, and related wildlife and natural resources. We maintain the Woodman and Kingman agronomy and horticultural farms, the Macfarlane Greenhouses, the Fairchild Dairy Teaching and Research Center, and the Organic Dairy Research Farm. Additional properties also provide forage, forests and woodlands in direct support to research, teaching, and outreach.

Lori Wright
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