Driving County Roads

An on line journal sharing my views. The content reflects my background as a rural person employed in agriculture and as a retired elected official of local government.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

U of M coming to New Sweden!

Dairy Training Management Facility
This week the Nicollet County Board heard a presentation by Professor John Fetrow of the U of M Veterinary Population Medicine Department., College of Veterinary Medicine. The University will partner with a private dairy (Northern Plains Dairy) in a 10 year agreement to build an educational facility on the New Sweden site. The Davis Family Dairy will also build a 2,500-cow barn on the site. The training facility will be similar to a present facility they are using that is located in Baldwin, Wisconsin. This facility will offer an atypical approach for dairy education and research. It will be used for training veterinary students who are in their senior year, in dairy medicine. Students will be housed at the site and typically there will be eight students there for a two-week period. The Wisconsin facility has students “in house” approximately 20 weeks out of the year.

The facility will have a free stall dairy barn with an appendage building that will be used for a classroom-this will allow teaching upstairs and applying concepts learned downstairs. This will be the principle site for teaching diagnosis medicine. It will allow students to observe the normal routine of cows on a twenty-four hour basis. They will see many births and will see first hand a difficult calving. They will see all phases of a cow’s life. It is anticipated that this facility will also be used by students from other veterinary colleges in the Midwest and Canada. There is a possibility that it could be a national center for training veterinary students from all over the world.

The University is pleased to develop this partnership between the Veterinary College and Northern Plains dairy and the Le Sueur Cheese plant. It will allow for a systems approach from the production of milk and then to the processing of cheese. This is the “Farm to Fork Concept” that allows examination of processes and pursuance of excellence in each area. The potential is there for this site to become a “go to place” to train dairy managers. Involved parties are working out the agreements and the county has received no applications as of this time. end

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