A dairy farm site was developed south of campus on Mortensen Road in 1908. The facility remains at this location at the present time and includes a number of barns and a pavilion. All are in use in maintaining a dairy herd. Facilities are used extensively for both teaching and research.
First Dairy Barn, 1908 to present
The development of this large, wood-frame building is mentioned in early records as being needed to relocate dairy cows from the campus proper. The building is currently used for storage and shelter. Early photographs show a white barn although the building is now painted red.
Dairy Farm Pavilion
This facility is constructed of clay tile, is oval in shape, and provides bleacher seating for students and spectators at events. The unit, like all of the pavilions, has high windows for natural light and a delightful architectural character reminiscent of large pavilions commonly built at major fair grounds. The building has been restored recently by a joint effort of students and faculty supported by the dairy industry. Date of construction was most likely in 1921 or 1922 in that 1923 photographs show a new building but the construction site was healed at the time.
Dairy Barn and Milking Parlor, 1937 to present
The present main dairy barn was built during the 1930s and completed in 1937. The building remains in largely original condition both inside and out although milking parlor modifications have been made as improved equipment was acquired over the years.
The barn is a U-shape design with classical gambrel roof accommodating a haymow over the entire structure. The structure was recently roofed with white painted metal. While the material is not in keeping with original roofing it is attractive and fortunately provides long needed protection for the building. The dairy operation has depended heavily on students as workers. As a result, former students have lots of fond memories of their years working at the Iowa State Dairy Farm. Until recently a residence was provided at the farm for student employees. The dairy farm is a routine stop for school field trips. Thus, the milking parlor and animal housing units have been visited by thousands of school children to observe first hand, many for the first time, the source of the food that is so important to them.