MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia University is getting out of the dairy cow business.
The university has decided to sell its 40 cows. The decision came down to cost, according to WVU Davis College of Agriculture Interim Dean Ken Blemings.
“We have conservatively estimated we spend about $250,000 on the milking cows and we receive about $100,000 in income from them, so we lose around $100,000-a-year approximately,” Blemings said.
The cows can probably be sold for about $800 each, Blemings said.
State Senator Bob Beach, D-Monongalia, said he understands the decision.
“Dairy important to every farmer across the state, we all know there’s a need for it. But, the reality is it’s an expensive program and sometimes you just have to look at it in a very harsh light and make the changes where needed,” Beach said.
Blemings said dairy education will continue in the College of Agriculture despite the decision to get out of the milking business. He said the university plans to invest in an already strong dairy heifer management program and a milk production class that uses tours to other dairies as part of the curriculum.
Blemings said the Stewartstown Road Farm in Morgantown will remain an asset in the college’s research and teaching efforts.
“We will continue to use it as we currently do for poultry research and classwork and for sheep research and classwork and for beef cattle research and classwork,” he said.