LaMaster Dairy Unit
The LaMaster Dairy moved to the existing site in 1976 and utilizes over 600 total acres of the Piedmont REC. All forages (dry hay, corn silage, alfalfa haylage, etc.) are produced using Piedmont REC cropland.
The dairy currently maintains 186 total milk and dry cows with herd expansion underway.
Ninety-eight Holsteins, fifty Jerseys, one Guernsey and ten Brown Swiss are in production. Average milk yield is currently 72 lbs. per day with 4.2% butterfat.
The new 190 head freestall barn was completed in summer 2017. This facility improved cow comfort with modern ventilation and misting systems and allows replication of modern farm conditions for research. It also allows recirculation of flush water as well as capture and recycling of 85-90% of sand bedding. Daily milk production increased 8-15 pounds per head at move in.
Upon completion of a robotic milking facility (Delaval VMS V300) in Spring 2019, the facility will provide researchers with opportunities to control and monitor animal production and supplementation. The robotic milkers will require less labor to operate, allow cows to be milked 24 hours a day and result in less stress on cows with improved milk production. To our knowledge we will have the only university robotic milking facility in the southeastern U.S. and only the 2nd in the United States.
A multi-state Hatch project, “Management Systems to Improve the Economic and Environmental Sustainability of Dairy Enterprises” is currently ongoing. Multiple industry funded research projects are also conducted here primarily related to factors influencing milkfat depression, examining the rumen microbiome, and development of a blood test to determine calf sex in utero. LaMaster Dairy is also participating in the Mid-Atlantic Secure Milk Supply Project.
LaMaster Dairy is historically known for our Jersey genetics; however, the Holstein herd has improved to become one of the top University herds in the United States.
We employ 4-8 students to help operate the dairy and provide a hands-on experience with an operating dairy and veterinary care.An active Dairy Science club with over 20 members participates in dairy shows and dairy competitions across the region using our resources and has won national awards with their presentations. http://newsstand.clemson.edu/clemson-students-fromage-takes-third-in-national-dairy-competition/