Kellogg Dairy Center

UConn Dairy Herd is 2023 Outstanding Dairy Farm

aerial view at sunset of Kellogg Dairy Center at UConn
Sun setting over Horsebarn Hill Road taken by a drone on June 17, 2021. (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)

UConn’s Kellogg Dairy Center (KDC) is recognized as the 2023 Connecticut Outstanding Dairy Farm for New England Green Pastures. The facility sits atop horsebarn hill in Storrs, looking out over the rolling fields. Within the barn, and the cattle resource unit down the road, are award-winning cattle and a nationally recognized university dairy program. They are moving forward to the New England competition, held at the Eastern States Exposition (Big E) in September.

The KDC was built in 1991 and is a free-stall facility for 100 milking cows with an attached classroom, office, viewing rooms, surgical unit, and two student dorm rooms. UConn added Voluntary Milking Systems (VMS or robotic milking systems) in 2018 and was the first university in the country to install the technology. Robotic feeders were added at the same time, each cow wears a transponder that collects data. This data is shared with DeLaval to help other dairy farms worldwide manage their data and economic viability.

The dairy herds have a rolling herd average of 29,300 lbs. for the Holsteins and 21,200 lbs. for the Jerseys, making them a top 10 production herd in the United States for their herd size. UConn has received the Hoard’s Dairyman National Dairy Quality Gold Award in 2017 for being one of the best dairy farms in the country, out of over 47,000. The University of Wisconsin is the only other dairy herd that’s made the list. UConn is also perennial winners for quality milk from Agri-Mark/Cabot, the milk cooperative that UConn works with. The Holstein Association has recognized the herd for the last 18 years with their Progressive Breeder Award. The high-quality milk is the basis of the ice cream and cheese the UConn College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources (CAHNR) sells, and it also wins regional and national awards.

Mary-Margaret Smith is the Executive Director for all the UConn Livestock Units, including the Kellogg Dairy Center, and leads a team of 11 professional staff as well as student workers. “Cow comfort is the number one priority. It has to be. And for them to make as much milk as possible but be healthy while doing so. The cleanliness of the milking system is also paramount.”

UConn’s Kellogg Dairy Center is part of the Department of Animal Science in CAHNR. The Outstanding Dairy Farm Award is facilitated by UConn Extension and the Green Pastures committee each year, with past winners serving on the committee.

Article: UConn Extension

Successful Year for UConn Dairy Program

Mary Margaret Cole, Executive Program Director of the Kellogg Dairy Center (KDC) at UConn’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources has had a very successful year. Cole and the KDC staff are setting the stage for top quality milk for Connecticut dairy producers.

mary-margaretAt the 2013 Eastern States Exposition Holstein Show, Cole was awarded champion herdsman and UC Advent Mattrina was named highest producing cow at the show.

In October, the Department of Animal Science’s herd qualified yet again for the Progressive Breeders Registry Award. Cole and her staff have worked diligently in breeding a registered Holstein herd that has achieved high standards of both production and type.

Agri-Mark announced in November that the UConn Dairy herd won the Agri-Mark Top Milk Quality Award in the Region. UConn has been #3 for several years and it is a credit to Cole and her staff that UConn has moved up to the #1 spot in the region.

Most recently, Cole and the KDC staff were selected as the 2013 Gold Winner in the National Dairy Quality Awards Program of the National Mastitis Council. The panel of judges ranked UConn’s milk as some of the best in the country. Judges looked at many factors when selecting the winners.

UConn Extension connects the power of UConn’s research to local issues by creating practical, science-based answers to complex problems. Knowledge and success from Cole and the Department of Animal Science is shared with UConn Extension. The scientific knowledge and expertise of the UConn dairy herd will aid Connecticut dairy farmers in economic viability, production, and sustainability in their dairy businesses.