The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) thanks the members of the Wisconsin State Building Commission who today provided final approval of plans to overhaul the Center for Dairy Research and Babcock Hall Dairy Plant at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents provided a green light for the project last week.
The UW facilities have not been renovated since the 1950’s. The size and scope of the project are significant and will cost a total of $46.9 million. Industry leaders proudly contributed $18.5 million, including WCMA’s gift of $500,000.
WCMA Executive Director John Umhoefer shared this statement following the Commission’s unanimous vote.
“Wisconsin is a leader in the dairy industry, not only because of abundance of high quality milk and state-of-the-art plants we have here, but also because our cheesemakers have had access to the best educational opportunities and research and development support in the world.
“The Center for Dairy Research and Babcock Dairy Hall are long overdue for upgrades, and this project is essential to preserving Wisconsin’s reputation as ‘The Dairy State’ and expanding our dairy exports overseas.
“We salute the University of the Wisconsin and Wisconsin Department of Administration officials who understand the economic potential of this project and thank them for their dedicated partnership to bring it to fruition.”
WCMA also noted with appreciation the Wisconsin State Building Commission’s approval of a $4 million Dairy Pilot Plant renovation at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. WCMA has contributed $200,000 in support of this project, which helps to ensure students in Wisconsin can earn a Food Science and Technology major and continued access to at-the-vat courses focused on pasteurization, cheesemaking, and food safety.