Cooperative for Real Education in Agricultural Management (CREAM), is a student-run dairy herd

UVM students manage farm operations and perform all of the barn chores. 

There are currently over 100 registered Holstein on the farm with 56 cows being milked at any given time. It is one of the highest producing and genetically superior herds in Vermont. This spring and fall semester program offers 8 credits (4 per semester) to 13-16 students each year.

Successful applicants are selected from all majors across the University and are not required to have a dairy or livestock background. The key requirements are a commitment to working hard and the thirst for knowledge. A CREAM student will leave this program with the skills necessary to excel in his/her chosen field whether that be business management, community development and applied economics, animal science, or biology.

Student and calf laying in the grass enjoying the sun

Olivia Wolfe and calf Easton 2016 Enjoying the sun

UVM CREAM on Across The Fence

Student being interviewed for story

One student's documents her summer experience with the CREAM show team.

Two CREAM cows in the barn

CREAM Faculty Advisor

Dr. Steve Wadsworth

Department of Animal & Veterinary Sciences
Terrill Building, 570 Main Street
Burlington, VT.  05405
802-656-2070 (e-mail is the best form of contact) 

To contact a current CREAMer with questions about info session meeting times or the status of an application please use this:

Hours: 10AM - 4PM 7 days a week
For a guided farm tour by a current CREAMer, please schedule a visit either by sending us a message on Instagram @uvm.cream or by emailing a current creamer at If you are interested in a self-guided tour, there is a kiosk with pamphlets located in hallway outside our teaching classroom, near our restrooms. Please be sure to follow all signage and use caution around farm equipment. Visitor's hours are 10 am-4 pm, 7 days a week.

How to schedule a tour:

A female student pets a calf

What is CREAM?

A new born calf in the birthing pen
  • CREAM stands for Cooperative for Real Education in Agricultural Management.
  • CREAM is a program in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at the University of Vermont.
  • CREAM places emphasis on experiential learning to develop interpersonal, teamwork, and practical problem-solving skills.

What does CREAM entail?

2 session options (15-20 students each)

  • Full-year course that runs Spring Semester and the following Fall Semester (8 total credits)
  • Summer CREAM runs for ~ 12 weeks in the summer (4 credits)
  • Chores are divided among the CREAM students, with each student averaging 4 chores per week. Chores are currently held at 3:30AM, 11:30AM, and 7:30PM. At each of these chores, students milk the 56 animals in the milking herd, feed the calves, and do any other treatments or tasks necessary at that time.
  • Meetings are held Monday and Thursday evenings and classes are held on Monday and Wednesday mornings. These are opportunities for students to learn both in and out of the classroom from Dr. Wadsworth, lecturer, and Matt Bodette, herdsman.
  • Additional opportunities are offered, too. A few of which include farm tours, guest lectures from leaders in the dairy industry, and outreach projects with the community.
  • A few of the many topics covered in CREAM include:
    • Milking management
    • Neonatal care
    • Disease control
    • Nutrition
    • Treatment protocols
    • Obstetrics
    • Genetics and breeding decisions

Application Process

What will students gain with their CREAM experience?

• Hands-on experience with large animals and dairy herd management.
• Life-long friendships and bonding experience
• Leadership qualities & effective communication methods
• Decision-making proficiencies Group & business management skills

Mission Statement

To be a leading experiential learning program in agricultural management offered by land grant universities in the United States where students assume the responsibility for making management decisions and experience the results of those decisions.  This will be accomplished by using the CREAM dairy herd as a learning platform to provide students with a unique opportunity to:

  • apply knowledge gained from classroom and laboratory studies to the management of a dairy herd;
  • learn and understand how  to manage and operate a business;
  • experience the work obligations and decision-making skills required in running a farm;
  • gain leadership, communication, problem solving, and team skills that will give them an advantage in their careers and make them more valuable to future employers.

Operating Goals

  • To be an economically sustainable learning enterprise within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Vermont.
  • To improve the economic performance of the CREAM herd through high quality milk production and the promotion and sale of high quality purebred stock.
  • To achieve continuous improvement in the critical production/performance metrics.
  • To be internationally recognized through the success of the program.

About the sale of the UVM herd

In June 2010, the University of Vermont announced that it would be selling its dairy research herd. These 255 Holsteins were later sold to a private bidder and are slated to leave the UVM farm by early autumn. However, this sale does not include the CREAM herd. The 65 animals owned by the UVM CREAM program will remain on the farm and CREAM will continue to operate for years to come.
The sale of the dairy research herd has been featured in several news reports (many of which incorrectly infer that the CREAM program will be directly affected by the sale). While CREAM students are grateful for the publicity afforded to the program by these news reports, we would also like the public to keep in mind that the CREAM program will continue to thrive even when the UVM Holsteins leave the farm.
UVM research herd sale in the news: