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It’s Business As Moo-sual For Penn State’s Dairy Barns

Without Penn State’s students, State College has been a ghost town for the better part of the last month and a half. College Ave. is barren, the HUB’s lawn is absent of the students enjoying the sunshine and tossing frisbees, and there’s not a single Starbucks line in sight.

However, there seems to be one part of campus that hasn’t been affected by the global pandemic erupting around it: Penn State’s dairy barns.

Located just off of Park Ave. and across from Beaver Stadium, the 500 cattle that call Penn State home are simply enjoying their days in State College and living their cow lives to the fullest.

The days really haven’t changed much for these sacred Penn State cows. They are still fed, watered, cleaned, and milked day in and day out. In fact, their production has stayed steady thanks to the tireless work of student volunteers.

“We have lost about 40% of our student labor but we are immensely grateful to those students who have remained to work their shifts and help care for the animals.” Dairy Barn Manager Nadine Houck said.

While there aren’t many students in the barn, the barn’s full-time staff has been deemed essential and worked “faithfully.” to keep things running smoothly. In addition to the full-time staff, researchers have also stepped up to keep the farm moo-ing along.

Houck added that those working have been sure to follow recommended social distancing guidelines. The staff has also stepped up its cleanliness and general hygiene procedures.

About 220 total cows need to be milked on Penn State’s campus. Farms across the country have had to start dumping milk as people stay home from the grocery store and overall demand is down, but Penn State doesn’t face the same dilemma many other farms face.

In a year, Penn State’s Berkey Creamery usually uses about two-thirds of the milk produced on campus and ships the rest off to Land O’Lakes. Now that the Creamery’s physical store is closed for the time being, Penn State has started shipping its milk to Land O’Lakes without skipping a beat.

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About the Author

Dana June Nunemacher

Dana is a senior, who is studying public relations. She is from the 570 and yes, she has watched The Office. Her passions in life include drinking unsweetened iced tea and spreading her love for agriculture (yee haw)!

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