Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Southwest Regional Dairy Center Grand Opening Today!

Many attended today's grand opening ceremonies for the new state of the art Southwest Regional Dairy Center. They were able to tour the $11.2 million dollar facility which serve not only Tarleton but the state and the southwest as a learning and research dairy!

Dairy science has been a part of Tarleton since shortly after becoming part of the A & M System in 1917. The first dairy barn was built in 1919.

Improvements to Tarleton's dairy barn were made several times throughout the years. In 1934, because students were having a hard time getting through school, a driveway, a rock wall, and a rock gate were built using student labor. Then in 1937 150 red radiance rose bushes were set out around the lawn in front of the dairy barn and on the south side. A water line was laid so that the roses could be watered. Wonder if Fitzgerald's Nursery provided the rose bushes? I have a photo of my daddy by a red radiance rose bush when he worked for Fitzgerald's Nursery!

The lovely "girls" shown above were typical of the quality of dairy cows in Tarleton's herd! In fact, in 1937 the Texas A & M dairy judging team won first place in the Industrial Dairy Judging Contest at the National Dairy Show in Columbus, Ohio, AND it was composed entirely of former Tarleton students and former members of Tarleton's livestock judging teams!

The September 20, 1938 J-TAC states that the Tarleton dairy herd had advanced far in the last 11 years. The original diary herd was composed of Jerseys and Guernseys, but in 1927 a new herd was established of just Jerseys from the herds of Erath County Jersey breeders. The college herd was the second herd in the state to be officially classified for type by a judge of the American Jersey Cattle Club!

To be sure the Tarleton dairy program has excelled for many years and the new Southwest Regional Dairy Center will be a great facility for expanded learning and research for the entire area! Maybe they will even consider planting red rose bushes!

J-TAC, February 24, 1934, March 9, 1937, May 1, 1938, September 20, 1938.

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