University of Vermont

University Communications

UVM Holds Official Groundbreaking for Miller Farm Renovation

Chuck Ross and Tom Vogelmann
Chuck Ross, secretary of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, speaks at the official groundbreaking ceremony, launching a long-planned renovation of UVM's Miller Farm complex, as Tom Vogelmann, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, looks on. (Photo: Sally McCay)

The University of Vermont officially broke ground on April 15 on a new instructional barn and milking parlor and a new research barn at the Paul R. Miller Agricultural Research Farm, Phase I of a two-phase, $10 million upgrade of the farm, located on Spear Street in Burlington. 

Speakers at the event included Chuck Ross, secretary of the Vermont Agency of Food, Nutrition and Markets; Tom Vogelmann, dean of UVM’s College of Agriculture and Life Science; David Kerr, interim chair of the Department of Animal and Veterinary Science, and first-year student Eleni Casseri.

The $2.55 million, 13,176 square foot teaching barn and milking parlor will accommodate an instructional herd of 50 cows and be completed in mid-September. For reasons of student safety, both facilities have safety and fire suppression systems not commonly found in barns.

The 8,764 square foot, $987,100 research barn will be used by CALS faculty and their graduate and undergraduate students to conduct short-term, intensive trials on dairy cows related to nutrition, reproduction and animal health. It will also be completed by mid-September. 

To make way for the buildings, a little used, open-stall cow barn located at the front of the complex was  deconstructed. The barn was built in the 1960s.  

The instructional barn and milking parlor will be used by Animal Science majors for a variety of courses and for hands-on research projects during their junior and senior years.

They will also serve as home base for students in UVM’s Cooperative for Real Education in Agricultural Management, or CREAM, program.

The 13 to 16 students selected each year for the two-semester, eight-credit CREAM program handle all aspects of managing the 50-cow teaching herd, from adjusting feed mixtures to monitoring animal health to handling the business side of the operation. Students also perform all barn chores.

The program prepares students for a variety of fields, including business management, community development and applied economics, animal science and biology.

Phase II of the project is the renovation of the historic Fitzsimmons Arena at the Miller Farm.