New KSU Dairy Science Facility Funded

A late addition to the state budget aimed at replacing the Dairy Science Unit at Kansas State University will help the dairy industry in Kansas to double.

According to Senator J.R. Claeys of Salina, $36 Million in funding and bonding authority was added in the budget for K-State to replace the 1977 facility. Matching funds from the industry are required to reach the goal of a $40 Million dairy on campus. Research at the dairy will drive innovation for the industry in the state.

The dairy at the university was modern for the time, but 47 years later it is no longer practical to teach students and conduct research using half-century old methods. The dairy also supports other colleges at the university including large-animal veterinary programs.

Claeys says Kansas State University did not make the dairy facility a priority for this legislative session and did not present it to the Regents as one of their items to support. This left legislative leaders like Senator Claeys and Representative Ken Rahjes from Agra, as well as the Dairy Farmers of America, to lead the fight without the official support of the university.

“Kansas agriculture continues to be the number one industry in our state because we never stop innovating,” said Claeys. “With a major cheese factory coming to western Kansas and the feed being grown here, it makes more sense to add dairy to our agriculture portfolio than to send commodities out of state, then ship them back in.”