Iowa State University is moving ahead with plans for a modern new facility to study the cows that produce milk. Mark Honeyman oversees the I-S-U research and demonstration farms, and says the new dairy facility will replace two old facilities in Ames and Ankeny. He says it will have new facilities the others weren’t able to address because they were old and outdated. He says it will have a double 12 milking parlor, and all the milk will be automatically weighed by a computerized data collection system. The facility will not only be nicer for the cows — but also for the humans who’re working with them. He says there’ll be a dairy farm center with a classroom, an area to view the milking parlor, offices, a lab and all the lockers and restroom. There’ll be a research barn for calf research, a maternity barn and special barns for dry cows and heifers. Honeyman says the facility will also have a state-of-the-art manure handling system. He says all animal science majors will use the facility at some point. He says there are about 700 majors, with about 60 to 70 students a year focused on the dairy science program each year. Honeyman says the entire facility will cost over 24-million dollars once it’s completed. He says they’ve aquired land south of Ames and they hope to break ground this fall and populate the farm with dairy cattle in the fall of 2006 or early in 2007. Honeyman says the former dairy facility near the Ames campus will be converted into a facility for horses.
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