Established: January 1, 1996
The University of California, Davis has long maintained active departmental programs in dairy production and dairy foods processing research, teaching and extension education. While much of this activity has centered within the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, clearly there are also significant dairy production programs in the School of Veterinary Medicine, and to a lesser extent, in the College of Engineering. In addition, several campus centers have programs in dairy-related areas, including the Center for Consumer Research, the Food Safe Program, the Center for Cooperatives, the California Institute of Food and Agricultural Research (CIFAR) and the Animal Agricultural Research Center.
The California dairy industry is large, producing the most milk of any state and leading in the manufacture of a variety of milks and dairy foods, including frozen desserts and some cheeses. It is led by people who are in the business of dairying and manufacturing milk and dairy foods. These business people expect the University of California to lead in basic and problem-solving research, on-campus teaching and information extension. It is an industry eager to absorb our offerings and willing to support research, in areas including production, animal health, human nutrition, dairy foods processing, safety, and quality that will maintain them at the competitive edge. Currently, they support research at UC Davis at over one million dollars annually.
The California State Universities are also expanding their research and educational programs, most notably California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. They have made significant strides in expanding their research faculty and developing first-class production and processing research and teaching facilities. They, too, have been able to attract industry research money and interest.
This Center will develop a more coordinated and visible dairy production and dairy foods research and information program for the industry (state, national and international). These efforts should, in turn, identify other UC faculty interested in applying their research and teaching talents to the short and long-term problems (educational or research) of the dairy industry. The Center will be a visible focus for industry people to seek assistance in the broad areas of our competence. The Center will coordinate and communicate our activities with other research and information programs within and outside of the UC System. It will seek to encourage additional funding for both research and educational activities.