March 20, 2016
House Ag committee members recently received a brief update on a report from the Dairy Research, Teaching and Consumer Education Authority.
Authority Board chair Sheryl Meshke told lawmakers at a joint meeting of the House Agriculture Finance and Agriculture Policy committees that the nine-member Authority Board recommends that a new 300-cow facility be built on the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus.
Dairy Authority Board recommends new $28.6 million dairy research, teaching and outreach facility on St. Paul campus.
The state-of-the-art research and teaching facility would feature a robotic milking system with four robots and a freestall barn for housing. The facility would use various technologies, including electronic monitoring of feed intakes, gating, radio frequency identification tags, camera monitoring and efficient lighting. The facility also would have feed storage and mixing areas and underground manure tanks. There would be separate entrances for staff and visitors, classrooms, an arena and an exhibit/gathering area. Preliminary plans call for it to be located south of the equine center.
Estimated cost is $28.6 million. The Dairy Authority plans to seek general obligation bond funding from the legislature as well as funds from private and public sources.
“We tried to differentiate this from other dairy research facilities in the region,” Meshke said.
More details about the project will be presented in the summer.
The Dairy Research, Teaching and Consumer Education Authority was established by the 2012 Minnesota legislature. Since then, the authority has reviewed various options for building a new dairy research, teaching and outreach site.
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