ARLINGTON, Va. – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (N.C. A&T) is the largest historically black college and university in the country, with roughly 13,500 students studying topics from accounting to biomedical engineering to visual arts. It’s also the only historically black institution of higher learning with an operating dairy unit – one that, since 2006, has been a proud member of the Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association.
The dairy covers 27.5 acres of N.C. A&T’s 492-acre University Farm, located just 3 miles from downtown Greensboro, N.C. It’s set up to demonstrate the pasture-based system of farming to some of the 1,100 students pursuing various degree programs in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. The 57-animal herd of both Jerseys and Holsteins—including 25 milking cows, as well as young stock, dry cows and heifers—rotate pastures roughly every three days. The university uses this model because it is a popular solution for small farms in North Carolina to lower overhead costs.
“Our key here is to get hands-on experience, whether that be milking cows, using equipment, learning pasture-based stuff, learning grazing methods, learning different methods of milking,” Corey Burgess, Unit Coordinator at the N.C. A&T dairy, said. “We try keep up with the highest technology at the dairy and our goal is to get the students the most exposure and get them ready for the industry—whether that’s industry work or teaching.”
To read more about the dairy at N.C. A&T State University or for more Farmer Focus stories, check out NMPF’s Sharing Our Story page.
–National Milk Producers Federation