New dairy complex planned for Kentland Farm
By Zeke Barlow
The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors approved a resolution in September 2013 accepting design plans to replace the existing dairy complex on Southgate Drive with new, state-of-the-art facilities at nearby Kentland Farm — a move that ensures the long-term success of the university’s award-winning dairy science program.
The plan calls for replacing the existing buildings on a 35-acre site that can accommodate a fully functioning lactating herd of 230 and takes advantage of Kentland Farm’s proximity to feed production and grazing lands.
“This is a great opportunity for the students getting a hands-on education about dairy science, for the scientists conducting research at the new complex, and for the dairy industry, which relies on the applied knowledge that the university provides.” said Alan Grant, dean of the college.
The dairy relocation will make way for the planned growth of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, the expansion of the Virginia Tech/Montgomery Executive Airport, and the construction of a new interchange at Southgate Drive and Route 460. Nongeneral funds and proceeds from the sale of 26 acres of land to the Virginia Tech/Montgomery Regional Airport Authority are covering the cost of the new $14 million dairy facilities. Construction should be completed by 2015.
The General Assembly has also approved planning money for the next phase of construction, which will include a dairy-focused teaching facility located near Plantation Road, a reproduction facility near campus, and an intensive research barn at Kentland Farm focused on metabolism. For this project, titled Kentland Facilities Improvements, the university has received preplanning money to engage in initial planning and design.