Fairchild Dairy Teaching and Research Center
The Fairchild Dairy Teaching and Research Center is representative of a typical New England Dairy operation, thereby developing new knowledge and management expertise geared directly to many state and regional stakeholders in the dairy industry. It houses about 90 milking-age 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. The facility relies heavily on student labor - during the academic year there are typically about 40 students working part-time at the
farm at any given time, either as hourly employees or as participants in the CREAM program. In addition to its primary research focus, the farm receives large numbers of visitors and hosts a number of public programs each year (e.g., School to Farm Days). Milk production currently averages about 26,000 to 27,000 pounds per cow per year for the CREAM and research herds, which exceeds the national average.
The Fairchild Dairy Center has been long recognized for its quality milk and operations. The farm has received numerous Gold Quality Awards from the Dairy Farmers of America, and has been recognized as a New Hampshire Quality Milk Producer by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. The farm has received Quality Milk Awards from Dairy One for consistently producing high quality milk with a low somatic cell count. Dairy One also has 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. The farm has been cited as a Dairy of Distinction by the Milk Sanitation Board, which in 2000 awarded it a Certificate of Quality.
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.
A portion of the experiment station's forage production area adjacent to the Fairchild Dairy hosts the COLSA Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems (SAFS) program’s high tunnel greenhouses and the UNH Organic Garden Club. Students in the experiential SAFS program are involved in all aspects of a food production partnership, which enables them to gain hands-on experience in growing and providing produce to the Dairy Bar Restaurant. Students associated with the UNH Organic Garden Club work with the college and experiment station, the Office of Sustainability Programs, and other campus entities to learn and practice effective organic gardening methods, and sell or give away to local causes a portion of their produce.
The Fairchild Dairy is open to the public 7 days a week 8-6 and milk at 3:30 p.m., which visitors can observe.