The Waterman Dairy Farm is part of the Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory located near Main Campus of The Ohio State University. The farm consists of 122 acres of crop land and 45 acres of pasture in the middle of Columbus, Ohio.
The farm stands to support teaching, research, and outreach. Several departments within the College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences along with the School of Veterinary Medicine use the farm in course curriculum and research. The farm also offers tours to groups outside of the College and University, working with groups from elementary schools to professionals in industry.
Waterman Dairy is certified by the National Dairy FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) and has been used as a training farm for their auditors. Waterman strives to meet and exceed FARM's standards in animal care, environmental and antibiotic stewardship, and workforce development. You can read more about FARM and it's standards here.
High quality Grade A milk is produced from a herd of 100 registered Jersey cows. The farm is a closed herd and raises all replacement heifers on-site, approximately 150 to 170 head at a time.
The farm transitioned to a herd of Jersey cattle in 2010 to sustain herd numbers with a dairy cow that consumes less feed for the farm’s limited crop and pasture ground. The small size and curious nature of Jerseys make them ideal for teaching.
Jersey cattle at Waterman have been recognized for high genetic merit and type. Waterman uses services provided through the REAP (Registration, Equity, Appraisal, Performance) offered by the American Jersey Cattle Association (https://www.usjersey.com/AJCA-NAJ-JMS/AJCA.aspx).
Several cattle are offered for sale throughout the year at both state and national Jersey sales along with private sales. For more information about herd production and sales contact John Lemmermen or Bekah Meller.
Facilities at the Waterman Dairy Farm consist of loose housing for heifers and dry cows. Pasture is rotationally grazed by heifers from spring to fall. Milk cows are housed in a free-stall barn with access to pasture in good weather. Cows are milked twice daily in a DeLaval, double eight herringbone parlor. The farm utilizes herd management software such as AfiFarm and PCDart to record individual records on each animal at the farm which aids in research and herd management.
Farm Management/Work Opportunities
OSU students are employed at the dairy each semester for chores and assist the managers in daily activities. Two full-time managers oversee daily operation of the farm and work with OSU students helping them gain experience in both general farm management and dairy herd management.
Part-time job opportunities are available to OSU students and can meet internship requirements if needed. Please contact a manager to discuss job opportunities.