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Davis Dairy Plant

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The SDSU Davis Dairy Plant is located adjacent to the Alfred Dairy Science Hall building on the SDSU campus. It processes approximately 18,000 pounds of milk a week. Dairy products manufactured include cheese, butter, beverage milk and more than 60 flavors of ice cream and sherbet. Construction on the new Davis Dairy Plant was completed in 2011.

Dairy products sold at the SDSU Dairy Sales Bar are processed from milk produced at the SDSU Dairy Research and Training Facility (DRTF) located one and a half miles north of campus. Raw milk is hauled from the DRTF to the Dairy Plant twice a week for the processing of high quality dairy products.

SDSU students process raw milk into finished dairy products such as pasteurized milk, ice cream, cheese and butter. Dairy products are delivered to all food service venues on campus. Tourists and alumni find the Dairy Bar a favorite attraction during their visits to SDSU. With the assistance of the plant manager and assistant plant manager, dairy students and student supervisors must make process control and management decisions in a real-life dairy-processing situation. They are also responsible for the marketing and retailing of all SDSU dairy products. The facility employs more than twenty part-time students.

Dairy Products

Ice Cream (See our Ice Cream site)

Dairy Plant Ice Cream


Cheddar (Mild, Bacon, Aged, Smoked, Smoked Bacon)
Colby, Colby Jack, Jalapeno, Smoked Jalapeno, Monterey Jack, Caraway 

Dairy Plant Cheese

Dairy Product Research

The SDSU Dairy Plant has played important roles in manufacturing new and improved dairy products. Faculty and graduate students are continually working to develop more nutritious dairy products. Recent research topics have included: yogurt, vitamin fortified process cheese, frozen desserts, cheese, butter, high protein milk powders and whey product utilization. Food safety research is also being conducted. In addition, Oreo (registered TM) ice cream and an award-winning Jalapeno cheese were developed at the SDSU Dairy Plant. Oreo has since been converted to cookies 'n cream.

Inspections and Regulation

The Dairy Plant undergoes quarterly inspections conducted by the South Dakota Department of Agriculture to assure that high quality dairy products are processed and sold. Students have the opportunity to participate in this inspection process.

Dairy Plant Regulation

Training and Education

The primary goal of the Dairy Plant is to train students in processing dairy products. Working in the plant allows students to gain knowledge and experience they cannot obtain in the classroom. Through regulated production of quality dairy products the students gain experience and exposure to the industry they are studying. Dairy Plant and classroom training encourages students to develop the skills necessary to compete in the job market. As students improve their skills, they gain confidence in themselves and their work. Confidence, along with technical ability puts SDSU students in great demand for jobs in the dairy industry. The placement rate for graduates has been 100% for over the past decade - our graduates, on average, receive the highest starting salaries of any major in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences.


In addition to its use as a student training educational facility, the dairy plant is available to industry personnel for a wide variety of uses. These include use of the pilot plant for experiments, conducting training seminars and product evaluation. Facilities cost is variable dependent upon project scope and duration. Students often have the opportunity to assist with these programs. Please call the plant manager for rates. Equipment available for research use:

  • 6,000 gal. Silo - 2
  • Separator - 7500 lb./hr.
  • HTST - 7500 lb./hr.
  • Microthermics Unit
  • Homogenizer
  • Past. Milk Tank - 300 gal.
  • Cream Tank - 600 gal.
  • Recon Tank - 1000 gal.
  • Breddo Likwifier
  • Bag - N - Box Filler
  • IC Mix Tank - 600 gal.
  • Flavor Tank - 100 gal.
  • IC Freezer - 150 gal./hr.
  • Particulate Feeder
  • Revel Pump
  • Ice Cream Filler
  • Butter Churn - 400# batch
  • Kussel Cheese vat - 2 500#
  • HCV - 2500#
  • Double O - 1000#
  • Whey Tank - 600 gal.
  • Process Cheese Cooker - #30
  • R&D HTST - 5000#/hr.
  • R&D Separator - Teardown - 5000/hr.
  • R&D Homogenizer
  • High Pressure Homogenizer
  • UF/MF - batch
  • UF/MF - Continuous
  • RO/NF
  • Ceramic MF - batch
  • Niro Pilot Dryer (20 lbs water/hr)
  • Two Stage Dryer (300 lbs water/hr)
  • Falling Film Evaporator - _ Stage
  • Crystallizer Tank - 200 gal.
  • Past. Holding Tank - 600 gal.
  • Cavitator
  • R&D Tank - 300 gal.
  • R&D Tank - 200 gal.
  • Batch Ice Cream Freezer - 40 qt.
  • R&D Tank - 50 gal.
  • R&D Tank - 30 gal.
  • Freezer Storage
  • Cooler Storage