What is Dairy Science?

The study of the basic and applied science and technology of animal nutrition, physiology, lactation, genetics, reproduction, and the business of dairy enterprise management.

Our Program...

We enjoy a nationally unique status as a stand-alone dairy science department. What this means for our student is MORE. 

More faculty--we have 9 faculty focused on dairy rather than 4 or 5 within most merged Animal/Dairy Programs.

More personal attention--to help you get into the right courses, find the right double major, obtain the right internships.

More students with similar interests--our dairy club and judging and challenge teams are successful--and consistent in that success.

More extra curricular opportunities, travel courses, and research opportunities.

More pride. Our alumni are fiercely proud of their school and translate that pride into continued support for our program--meaning more scholarships for our students.



Our Facilities...

The Virginia Tech Dairy Science Complex is located at Kentland Farm, encompassing 35 carefully planned acres.  This state-of-the art facility  is Phase 1 of a relocation plan, necessitated by expansions of the VT Airport and Corporate Research Center, as well as a new interchange on Rt. 460 at Southgate. We'll miss being close to campus, but the new Dairy Complex is a much more efficient use of land than the previous facility and it gave us the opportunity to upgrade and improve some of the technologies incorporated.

The 232 milking cows are housed in a freestall barn where feed consumption can be monitored for research. The barn features drovers alleys on both sides and research pens on one side.  It is double sloped to middle and utilizes sand bedding. The sand is recycled using a weeping wall system for manure management.

The milking facility is designed for animal handling with a double 12 parallel parlor and houses administrative offices.  There is also a special needs barn for use with weaned calves, breeding age heirs and close up dry cows. Additionally, there's a calf barn with automatic feeders and weaned calf pens. 

Of special note, our herd is currently the only one in the nation with both  AFILab and Pedometer Plus systems.

We are looking forward to Phase 2 which will include a demonstration facility, an applied reproduction physiology facility, and a metabolism research facility.


Litton-Reaves Hall houses our department offices, classrooms, computer labs, Dairy Club Room, faculty offices and well-equipped teaching and research laboratories.

Our Mission

To educate students, create and disseminate knowledge, and develop applications of technology through study of dairy and related biological systems.


Our Vision

Be THE recognized source for accurate information, meaningful "progressive" innovation, and informed leadership in Virginia, the Southeast, the USA, and the World.

Be the premier Dairy Science program for education and research by becoming more self-sufficient, collaborative, and productive.