The Fairchild Dairy Teaching and Research Center, a facility of the NH Agricultural Experiment Station (NHAES), has been awarded a 2014 Quality Milk Award from the nationally recognized nonprofit dairy farmers cooperative Dairy One. Only about 20 percent of Dairy One’s member herds received the designation in 2014.
“Thank you for your efforts in producing quality milk. Your outstanding achievement sets a standard of excellence for the entire dairy industry,” said James Zimmerman, general manager of Dairy One in a letter notifying UNH of the designation.
The Fairchild Dairy Center’s research herd was recognized for consistently producing milk with a low somatic cell count throughout the year. Dairy herds with a low somatic cell count tend to be more healthy and profitable herds since they have reduced treatment and veterinary costs for mastitis, which is the most common and costliest disease for dairy cattle. Healthy herds have higher milk production per cow and receive a higher prices for their milk. In addition, milk with lower somatic cell counts has a longer shelf life and results in a higher yield of cultured dairy products.
The Fairchild Dairy Center develops new knowledge and management expertise geared directly toward many state and regional stakeholders. It houses about 90 milking-age Holstein and Jersey cows and approximately 70 growing, replacement animals. Included in that number is the 20-cow, student-managed Cooperative for Real Education in Agricultural Management (CREAM) herd, with the remaining animals devoted primarily to research in the area of dairy nutrition and reproductive biology.
Cows at the Fairchild Dairy Center produce an average of about 26,000 to 27,000 pounds of milk per cow per year, which is greater than the national average of about 22,000 pounds per cow a year.
The Fairchild Dairy Center has been long recognized for its quality milk and operations. In 2014, 2013 and 2012, the farm received the Gold Quality Award from the Dairy Farmers of America. Also in 2014, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services recognized the dairy as a New Hampshire Quality Milk Producer. In 2013, the farm received a Quality Milk Award from Dairy One for consistently producing high quality milk with a low somatic cell count. In 1997 and 2004, Dairy One also recognized the CREAM herd having the highest quality milk from among approximately 3,100 dairy herds on the official Northeast Dairy Herd Improvement Association (DHIA) test. In 1999, the farm was cited as a Dairy of Distinction by the Milk Sanitation Board, which in 2000 awarded it a Certificate of Quality.
The Fairchild Dairy Center is located at 36 O’Kane Road off Mast Road Extension in Durham. It is open to the public seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visitors can observe the milking of cows at 3:30 p.m. each day. Map: http://www.colsa.unh.edu/nhaes/directions/Fairchild.
Dairy One is a farmer-owned cooperative nonprofit with a core DHIA membership of approximately 4,600 dairy farmer members throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region. Dairy One is closely aligned with Dairylea Cooperative and Dairy Farmers of America.
Founded in 1887, the NH Agricultural Experiment Station at the UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture is UNH’s original research center and an elemental component of New Hampshire's land-grant university heritage and mission. We steward federal and state funding, including support from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, to provide unbiased and objective research concerning diverse aspects of sustainable agriculture and foods, aquaculture, forest management, and related wildlife, natural resources and rural community topics. We maintain the Woodman and Kingman agronomy and horticultural farms, the Macfarlane Greenhouses, the Fairchild Dairy Teaching and Research Center, and the Organic Dairy Research Farm. Additional properties also provide forage, forests and woodlands in direct support to research, teaching, and outreach.