MADISON (WKOW) — UW-Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences held a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a new dairy research facility in Prairie du Sac on Monday.

The new facility in all its 42 acres of glory will feature robotic milking systems, chambers for measuring greenhouse emissions, an advanced animal nutrition unit, and state-of-the-art laboratories for agronomy and dairy sciences.

The project is in part thanks to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the ARS’ U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center. The facility aims to target soil health and the application of nutrients back into the soil. Research will include manure management and the environmental impacts of manure-borne pathogens.

“The construction of this new facility represents a continuum of cooperative research between ARS and UW–Madison CALS that builds on achievements of the past to meet the evolving needs of our dairy producers now and in the future,” said ARS Administrator Dr. Simon Liu. “This facility also is a testament to the unwavering support and advocacy of our stakeholders at all levels of the process.”

The ARS Acting Associate Administrator says the new facility will enable research that better replicates the conditions of modern dairy farms. Combining laboratory and field research will allow dairy scientists the chance to do the work and study the impact more effectively. 

“Wisconsin is America’s Dairyland, and we take very seriously our responsibility to conduct relevant research that can be put to use by our dairy farmers” said Dr. Glenda Gillaspy, dean of the UW–Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. “The partnership between UW–Madison and USDA has allowed us to amplify our collaborations with the state’s dairy industry, and we look forward to that continuing with this new facility.”

The construction is set to be completed in 2027.



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