Virginia Tech recently reported that its Board of Visitors has approved the proposed design for the second phase of the new Dairy Science Complex. Phase II builds upon the new state-of-the-art research facilities and provides additional space for research, teaching and Virginia Cooperative Extension initiatives in dairy and animal sciences.
Scientists working at the new complex will collaborate with partners in the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, the Department of Dairy Science, the Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences, the Agricultural Technology Program and with colleagues from industry and universities across the United States.
The $7.6 million facility will include an applied reproductive physiology facility, an intensive metabolic research facility at the Kentland Farm complex and a bovine extension, teaching and research facility on Plantation Road.
The new dairy facilities will be a boon to collaboration and applied research and teaching structures will allow unparalleled experiential learning for students.
“The new buildings are an indication of the university’s support of the land-grant mission and will ensure the continued success of our award-winning dairy science program,” said Mike Akers, Ph.D., the department head and a professor of dairy science. “The facilities will allow our students to learn in the best environment possible. We have a strong dairy science program and these facilities make it even better as a hub for research and teaching. What is learned here will increase our understanding of dairy cattle and ultimately help boost profits and efficiency for dairy farmers.”
Phase II continues Virginia Tech’s commitment to sustainability. For instance, architectural details will include a bi-level roof structure and open metal slat walls which promote better natural ventilation without expending energy.
“This is an exciting time to be in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and to be a dairy science student,” said Alan Grant, Ph.D., dean of the college. “The new dairy facilities provide unparalleled experiential learning for students and a research facility that faculty can use to solve real issues facing dairy farmers in the commonwealth.”
Phase II of the new Dairy Science Complex will include research, teaching, and outreach efforts in the bovine extension, teaching and research facility on Plantation Road.
Virginia Tech expects construction on phase II to begin in 2016.
This first phase, which was completed in the summer of 2015, included a double-12 parallel milking parlor with a computerized milk-monitoring system, a freestall barn where the 228 milking cows are housed, a modern waste management system, a special needs heifer barn and a pre-weaned calf facility.