UA 5.7




33.46 linear feet (30 records boxes, 1 document case, 2 oversize boxes-flat)


The Department of Dairy Science covers the entire spectrum of the dairy industry; from farm to product, with expertise in both Dairy Production and Dairy Manufacturing. This collection consists of administrative records, publications and Dairy Husbandry records which consist of correspondence, reports, registry materials, receipts, bills, inventories, statements, photographs and miscellaneous items.

Historical Note

Instruction and research in dairying were activities at South Dakota State University long before a Department of Dairying was established. By 1897, when the department was formed, coursework was well established. In 1892, a dairy building was built, and much of the coursework was completed in the special labs and rooms. In addition to regular college courses, the department also offered a short course in creamery. These courses met for anywhere from two to twelve weeks, and were highly successful and very well attended for the 52 years of their existence.

Although minor name changes occurred through the years, the general philosophy of the department has remained essentially the same. Courses are taught which prepare students for careers in dairy manufacturing or dairy production. In addition to the BS degree, an MS in Dairy Science has been offered since 1903, and a Ph.D. in agriculture is also offered through the department in the areas of dairy science or dairy cattle nutrition and management. Much of the research is conducted through the Agricultural Experiment Station, as it had been since its inception. Dairying has also been a large component in the Cooperative Extension Service through the years.

The Department of Dairy Science has been very visible both on campus and throughout Brookings through the dairy processing plant and sales room. Students gain practical experience in processing and offer milk, cheese, butter and ice cream for sale through the sales room. These products are also used in campus eating facilities.

Content Notes

The Dairy Science Department Records are composed of departmental records, publications and Dairy Husbandry records which consist of correspondence, reports, registry materials, receipts, bills, inventories, statements, photographs and miscellaneous items.

The administrative records are composed of clippings, correspondence, policy manuals, photographs/negatives, bulletins, leaflets, newsletters, programs, reports and miscellaneous items. Included is material on cooperative education, creamery short courses, Diary Industry Week, Dairy Princess judging, and a history of the Dairy Science Department, which was revised in 1994-95. An item of note is a scrapbook from the early 1900, which contains clippings of dairy related material. Some unusual items included are two small milk cartons used by the Dairy Science Department.

The photographs were collected by the Dairy Science Department over the years. These photographs cover a wide range of topics, from barns and local creameries, to ice cream and yogurt. Some photographs are of experiments conducted by the Dairy Science Department, including bloat procedures, diseases bovine udders and a vitamin D deficiency/sun deprivation experiment. Some items of note include glass plates for experiment station bulletin publications. Ask the Special Collections staff for assistance in viewing these photographs. Folders and arranged in alphabetical order.

The Dairy Husbandry records are composed of correspondence and general office files which include reports, registry materials, receipts, bills, inventories, statements, photographs and miscellaneous items. The bulk of this collection is correspondence from companies and area dairy farmers to and from the head of the Dairy Husbandry department during the years covered. Other items in this collection show the day to day operation of the department. An item of note is correspondence from Ben Reifel while he was a student at SDSC looking for employment.

Items such as receipts, daily creamery reports, test supervisor's reports for advanced registry and feed record report cards were sampled and a small collection kept indicating how the reports were filled out and what they were used for. The photographs were separated and are housed in the photograph collection. Folders are arranged in alphabetical order and there under chronologically.

SDSU Archives and Special Collections

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South Dakota State University Archives and Special Collections, Hilton M. Briggs Library, Brookings, South Dakota.


Copyright restrictions apply in different ways to different materials. Many of the documents and other historical materials in the Archives are in the public domain and may be reproduced and used in any way. There are other materials in the Archive carrying a copyright interest and must be used according to the provisions of Title 17 of the U.S. Code. The Archive issues a warning concerning copyright restrictions to every researcher who requests copies of documents. Although the copyright law is under constant redefinition in the courts, it is ultimately the responsibility of the researcher to properly use copyrighted material.