UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
The mission of the UWRF Dairy Pilot Plant is to be a recognized center of excellence for teaching, outreach, and applied research in dairy product manufacturing with emphases on processing, food safety, and business development. UW-River Falls is committed to training the next generation of dairy industry leaders.
To meet the student demand and industry standards, UW-River Falls developed a project to renovate its Dairy Plant. To date, the Wisconsin State Building Commission has approved $1.9 million to the project and UW-River Falls has supported the project with $525,000 to fund the physical renovation and infrastructure upgrades. An additional $4 milliion is being sought from industry partners for the purchase and installation of equipment. To date, $2.1 million in gifts and $900,000 in equipment donations have been gratefully received.
Modernizing the 30-year old Dairy Plant equipment and processes will help provide more effective teaching and training through the introduction of food product and security technology. This will continue to give UWRF graduates a competitive edge as they enter the industry.
The growing student interest in dairy product processing and manufacturing is demonstrated by the nearly 20 students now working part-time in the Dairy Pilot Plant during the academic year. We foresee at least doubling that number, with the renovated plant facilities that allow for concurrent production of cheese and ice cream and an increased production throughout the year. The Food Science and Technology major, Food Processing Technology minor, International Food Operations Management dual-degree program and dairy plant renovations will also result in greater student interest and enthusiasm.
The first piece of equipment was installed on January 10, 2020 in the renovated facility - a RO/UF combo from Complete Filtration Resource, Inc.
UW-River Falls Dairy Plant Renovation Underway (Dairy Star)