The NH Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of New Hampshire College of Life Sciences and Agriculture and the Granite State Dairy Promotion invite the public to come “meet your milk” at the UNH Open Barn Saturday, June 18, 2016. The annual statewide event, which is free and open to the public, takes place at the UNH 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.
The Fairchild Dairy Teaching and Research Center develops new knowledge and management expertise geared directly toward many state and regional stakeholders. It houses about 90 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 Center 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.
The Fairchild Dairy Center has been long recognized for its quality milk and operations. In 2014, 2013 and 2012, the farm received the Gold Quality Award from the Dairy Farmers of America. Also in 2014, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services recognized the dairy a New Hampshire Quality Milk Producer. In 2014 and 2013, the farm received a Quality Milk Award from Dairy One for consistently producing high quality milk with a low somatic cell count. In 1997 and 2004, Dairy One also recognized the CREAM herd having the highest quality milk from among approximately 3,100 dairy herds on the official Northeast Dairy Herd Improvement Association (DHIA) test. 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.
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: https://colsa.unh.edu/nhaes/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, including support from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, to provide unbiased and objective research concerning diverse aspects of sustainable agriculture and foods, aquaculture, forest management, and related wildlife, natural resources and rural community topics. We maintain the Woodman and Kingman agronomy and horticultural research farms, the Macfarlane Research 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.