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A new Raleigh museum will give visitors the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in a dairy farm and learn about the importance of the dairy industry in North Carolina, the history of Jersey cows and more.

The Randleigh Dairy Heritage Museum will be dedicated in a ceremony on Friday, April 13, at NC State University’s Lake Wheeler Road Field Laboratory. The event, which runs from 2 to 4 p.m. and includes tours of the museum and milking parlor, also will feature a groundbreaking for the much-anticipated Dairy Education Center and Creamery. Media are invited to attend.

“We envision Lake Wheeler Road Field Lab as the farm of the future, not only as a classroom and laboratory, but also as an agritourism destination that will demonstrate the future of agriculture to school children, policy makers and the public,” said College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean Richard Linton.

In the 1920s, William R. Kenan, Jr., established his Randleigh Farm in Lockport, New York. He was passionate about animal husbandry, cattle diseases and development of a clean milk supply. He hosted seminars for dairy producers and demonstrated modern dairy practices to the public. Kenan bequeathed his farm and the Randleigh Jersey herd to the University of North Carolina System, along with an endowment to benefit agricultural education.

The Jersey cows grazing at NC State’s Lake Wheeler Dairy Farm are the progeny of the Randleigh herd, and Kenan’s bequest has been the cornerstone of the farm and dairy facilities here today – and the research and teaching they support.

“We are grateful for the Kenan family’s legacy to the university and vision in establishing the Randleigh Dairy Heritage Museum,” Linton said. “This is the future of dairy education.”