Dairy Pilot Plant renovation project receives official go-ahead

April 13, 2018 – The State of Wisconsin Building Commission has given final approval to the UW-River Falls Dairy Pilot Plant renovation project.

This permission follows action last week by the UW System Board of Regents in authorizing a $1.94 million budget for the project which will renovate and expand the existing dairy plant. State money will be used for construction and renovation of the space including mechanical and electrical systems.

The project is a joint venture among the university, its College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES) and the UWRF Foundation.

To date, CAFES and the UWRF Foundation have secured approximately $2.5 million in cash, gifts, pledges and in-kind contributions including donated equipment for the facility. Private funds are being raised to purchase and install the Dairy Pilot Plant’s new equipment.

“With more than 30 years of continuous use in academic programming, the Dairy Pilot Plant is in need of significant updating and renovation,” said CAFES Dean Dale Gallenberg. “This new facility will better accommodate academic programming needs in the college as well as allow us to expand industry outreach and training programs and research in dairy product development and processing.”

The current food pilot plants on campus began operation in 1983.

Bids for the project were opened in March, with Ross & Associates of River Falls chosen as general prime contractor. Mead & Hunt of Middleton was previously chosen as architect. Lyle Clem of Electrol Specialties Company is process design consultant.

The first phase of construction will renovate existing space while a second phase will install equipment used to process raw milk into cheese and ice cream.

The renovated plant is expected to be ready for use in early 2019.

For more information or to learn about giving opportunities, contact Gallenberg at 715-425-3841 or

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