Ferguson Family Dairy Center
As a land-grant university, we think it is important to be on the forefront of new dairy technology. Our milking parlor is equipped with an automated system that recognizes each cow and provides detailed information about their milk. We also have a new robotic milker that allows cattle to get milked whenever they want.
The Insentec feeding system in the freestall barn has 16 feeders and two waterers. This system can record the feed and water intake for up to 32 cows. A data center collects information from the Insentec system daily.
The dairy herd consists of approximately 60 Holstein cows and 40 Jersey cows that are milked twice daily. Cows are fed a total mixed ration containing alfalfa hay, whole cottonseed, and concentrate (including corn grain).
Holsteins average 70 pounds of milk per day with 4% fat test whereas Jersey cows average 45 pounds of milk per day with 5% fat test. The facility produces around 2,200,000 pounds of milk a year.
The Holstein and Jersey cows are housed separately in the freestall barn, which allows them to rest in areas designed for their breed size. Brushes, cooling fans, ventilation, and a mist system keep the cows comfortable.
The dairy provides hands-on experience and research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. They get access to facilities, technology, and training that prepares them for work in the dairy industry. Students can get involved in various aspects of our operation, including milking, feeding, maintenance, health and wellness, data analysis, and research projects.