University of Saskatchewan officially opens dairy research facility

The Rayner Dairy Research and Teaching Facility was officially opened at the University of Saskatchewan campus yesterday.

“This is a huge investment in the future that agriculture, in general, needs to have these types of facilities to make sure we’re doing the right things for agriculture for the farmers,” said Blaine McLeod, chair of SaskMilk.

“We wanted this to bring together all of agriculture, the grains and the oilseed sector — the ones that provide the raw feed and the byproducts that are used in the dairy feed —bringing that all together in a facility where we can showcase that, that was really important for us as producers to make sure that’s accessible and make sure that people knows where their food comes from and they can almost touch it,” he said.

Though more than 70 dairy cattle had already moved into the Rayner barn in July, the facility now features interpretive galleries open to the public. The dairy herd will also be expanded to 100 by the end of this year.

The new barn will contain the Feeding the World interpretive galleries, designed to inform the public about how a dairy barn operates. The galleries will be open to the public every day from 12 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The galleries feature the cow walk, an overhead walkway to provide an overview of the herd, the milking parlour and the milking robot.

According to McLeod, having the latest technology at the facility will give agriculture students at the university a hands-on experience when it comes to research.

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