MADISON, WI – The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) thanks Governor Tony Evers and members of the Wisconsin State Building Commission for their support of the Center for Dairy Research/Babcock Dairy Hall building project on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Today, commission members unanimously approved a $25.7 million boost in overall project funding, with support coming from UW-Madison, additional borrowing, and gifts.
“Industry donors were proud to contribute $18.5 million to the building project at its start, and they’re contributing once again, because the Center plays an essential and inimitable role in dairy processing research, business development and training,” said John Umhoefer, WCMA Executive Director. “This additional money will ensure the renovated and expanded facility will meet industry needs now and for decades to come.”
The Center for Dairy Research and Babcock Dairy Hall are long overdue for upgrades, with the facilities dating back to the 1950’s. In 2012, the building project was estimated to cost $32 million, an amount adjusted in 2018 to $47 million. With project design now complete, including technology and equipment purchases, the total cost has reached $72.6 million.
“There’s no question this investment is significant, and we salute Governor Evers and state leaders for recognizing both its value and its necessity to maintaining Wisconsin’s role and reputation as a leader in the global dairy industry,” said Umhoefer. “A redesigned and renovated Center for Dairy Research will drive the development of products critical to dairy export growth and value-added specialty cheese sales, providing greater stability from the farm to the market.”