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Progress Continues at NC State Vet Med with Dairy Barn Groundbreaking

Dairy groundbreaking
From left to right: CVM Deann Paul Lunn, former dean Oscar Fletcher and Paula Cray, head of the Department of Population Health and Pathobiology, break ground on the CVM's new dairy barn. Photo by John Joyner, NC State Veterinary Medicine

The NC State College of Veterinary Medicine emphasized its commitment to modern farm animal practices and food security with the Oct. 29 groundbreaking of a $5.5 million dairy barn addition to the college’s iconic Teaching Animal Unit.

With the new barn, the college will be ideally positioned for students to learn the latest in food safety and security practices, as well as a modern approach to animal welfare. 

The TAU gives students the opportunity to experience husbandry and preventive health practices. NC State is home to one of the few colleges of veterinary medicine in the United States to feature an on-site working farm.

In remarks during the groundbreaking ceremony, CVM Dean Paul Lunn and former dean Oscar Fletcher noted the critical role the generous ongoing support of the R.B. Terry Charitable Foundation has played in making the new dairy barn and many other improvements and programs possible. The foundation provided 80% of the funding for the new dairy barn and has contributed nearly $60 million in support of the CVM through the years.

“The R.B. Terry Charitable Foundation’s support has impacted every aspect of the college of veterinary medicine, empowering both students and faculty with the tools and resources needed to work collaboratively, think critically and lead courageously,” Lunn said.

Derek Foster, associate professor of ruminant health management (far left) and TAU crew members at the groundbreaking ceremony. Photo by John Joyner/NC State Veterinary Medicine.

The dairy barn is another milestone for Lunn, who will step down from his role in January to lead his alma mater, the University of Liverpool School of Veterinary Science.

“It reminds us not only of the CVM’s legacy but our current responsibility,” Lunn said of the new dairy barn in a September Q&A.. “Dairy production remains one of the most important components of animal production in North Carolina, in the United States and in many parts of the world.

“The skills we teach within dairy health are applicable to many aspects of animal production. It’s vital that we have a dairy program here.”

Construction of the new dairy barn is scheduled for completion in fall 2022. Also in the works is an $80 million new equine hospital to be built adjacent to the college’s current equine service. About $40 million has been raised for the equine hospital project.

~Steve Volstad/NC State Veterinary Medicine