The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) today cheered the start of construction on a renovated Center for Dairy Research and Babcock Hall Dairy Plant at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The $46.9 million project will update facilities central to research projects and educational offerings for the U.S. dairy industry.
“The physical plant for Babcock Dairy and Center for Dairy Research has been in operation since the 1950’s, largely without updates, so these renovations are long overdue,” said John Umhoefer, WCMA Executive Director. “It’s exciting to see ground broken, because we know a world-class facility holds the potential for breakthroughs in dairy product development and innovation.”
For years, WCMA has served as a leader in the push for renovations, championing a fundraising drive which resulted in more than $18.5 million in donations from industry leaders. WCMA itself contributed $500,000 to support the project.
“Investments in the Center for Dairy Research are investments in the future of the U.S. dairy industry,” said Umhoefer. “As the global marketplace offers new opportunities, it’s critical that we maintain our reputation for the highest quality dairy products and innovative processing practices.”
WCMA acknowledged the partnership of the University of Wisconsin and State of Wisconsin in helping to bring the Center for Dairy Research and Babcock Hall Dairy Plant project to fruition. Construction is scheduled for completion in 2020.