From Page 1 training and outreach, and applied research in dairy product manufacturing.” “The plan is to train the students to go out into the workforce,” Farner said. “A lot of the support …
From Page 1
training and outreach, and applied research in dairy product manufacturing.”
“The plan is to train the students to go out into the workforce,” Farner said. “A lot of the support from companies is because they need good staff and good workers in their industry. We make sure that we are teaching the way industry processes.”
The dairy plant is available to use as a learning tool for students at UW-River Falls as well as workers already in the industry. It is aimed to help provide good workers in plants outside of the university. Farner teaches courses to students and industry workers at the plant as well as managing the operations of the plant.
The renovations included reconstructing the space; the plant itself was 1,500 square feet and now it is just about 6,000 square feet.
“It is a considerable difference. We have decided to have two separate operating rooms, raw processing will be in one space and finished product processing will be separate. What we did though is we repurposed existing space; we did not add on or construct anything new,” said Farner.
The project is partially funded through the state and the rest is privately funded, which has called for donations and grants. Recently the school was awarded a $250,000 Targeted Industry Projects grant that was used to fabricate the plant’s high-temperature, short-time pasteurization system. “The first phase was the renovation of the space which was state funded and then the second phase was the equipment installation which was privately funded,” said Farner.
According to the renovation plan, other funds came from industry partners, the university itself and private donations. The funds went toward the construction of the plant, machinery and equipment.
Once the dairy plant reopens, student workers will continue to operate in the plant making cheese and ice cream. The goal is to have the plant completed and ready by Spring, and for sure can be expected to be open within the next year.
Photo by Melissa Thorud