Research at Waterman Dairy
The Waterman Dairy Center is a convenient and important research site for faculty in the Department of Animal Sciences at Ohio State. Research not only includes topics relative to dairy cattle but also to dairy facility management. Undergraduate students undertake research programs at Waterman Dairy through various programs, like the Honors program, and Graduate students can conduct their graduate research programs at the farm as well. Faculty have on-going projects at the farm that utilize some of the herd.
The Ohio State University was awarded an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency grant of $194,324 with local matching dollars totaling $132,456 for the Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District to demonstrate several progressive projects to improve the sustainability of the on the Waterman Agriculture and Natural Resource Laboratory [News release]. The purpose of the project is to provide examples of improved operations, sustainable production, reduced maintenance costs, and water protection. Projects will consist of two phases, which will start in 2010 and 2011. Waterman’s Agricultural Best Management Practices Demonstration and Education Project will show farmers how to continue agricultural production while invading a steam channel to improve it. Read more about the research in an Ohio’s Country Journal 2011 article.
If you are interested in touring the water quality improvements made on the facility with the assistance of these grant dollars, please request a tour on the tour request form and type OH EPA 319 in the “comments”.
Another example of on-going research at the Waterman Dairy Center involves study of manure digesters for small dairy farms, which is being led by Dr. Jay Martin, Associate Professor, OSU Department of Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering. His team is developing a digester with a budget goal of about $100/cow; a prototype digester has been under study for the last year at Waterman Dairy. To read more about this research, please link to the article by Gail C. Keck published in Ohio Farmer.
We are currently investigating the implications of co-housing hutch heifers. Measurements being collected include: Average daily gain, height, Intake, body temperature, ambient temperature and animal behavior. For more information or questions please contact Jessica Pempek (firstname.lastname@example.org).