The Joe Bearden Dairy Research Center supports departmental teaching and research activities along with providing the students of Animal and Dairy Sciences contact with modern techniques in Animal Agriculture as well as the opportunity for practical work experience. These experiences give the students in this curriculum insight into many technical challenges associated with the dairy industry.
The Joe Bearden Dairy Research Center is located off Turkey Creek Road in the Sessums community of Oktibbeha County. The first acquisition of land at this site occurred in 1974 when 726+ acres were purchased from Mr. William White. A second purchase of 279+ acres was made in 1981. The milking herd was moved to this location in the mid 1980's from the old location north of the Mississippi State University campus on highway 182. That land is now occupied by the Thad Cochran Research and Technology Park and the MSU Athletic Department.
The Research support staff at the Dairy Research Center is responsible for all forage production for the dairy herd. This includes all hay, silage and pasture forage. In addition to supporting some forage research, they are responsible for all the land, equipment, grounds, water lines, perimeter fencing and the exteriors of the buildings.
How many cows are there in the Mississippi State University dairy research herd?
142 cows; 107 Holsteins and 35 Jerseys
How much milk does the herd produce?
The university's herd produces more than 3 million pounds of milk annually, the equivalent of about 369,000 gallons.
What does the Mississippi State dairy do with their milk production?
All the milk goes to the MSU dairy manufacturing facility on campus. It is processed from there into ice cream and our famous Edam Cheese which is available at http://www.msucheese.com/
Has the herd received any honors?
The American Jersey Cattle Association ranked the MSU dairy herd at No. 7 in milk production for 2010. The only university-owned herd to make the top rankings, the dairy herd has been ranked in the top 10 for the last four years. The 35-head Jersey herd is also ranked in the top 10 in all categories for groups of similar size, ranking No. 5 in protein, No. 4 in milk and No. 10 in milk-fat production.