This portion of the Oak Creek watershed is managed as a working agricultural laboratory. Agricultural users include the OSU Dairy Center, beef and sheep production barns, and the Veterinary Medicine Research Farm (especially llamas, horses, and ponies).
The OSU Dairy
The OSU Dairy Center is a focal point of the Agricultural Reach with:
· 180 acres of managed dairy land
· Average of 300 cows (150 are milked twice daily)
· Mature milking cows are Jersey's (brown cows) and Holsteins (black & white cows)
· Total daily milk yields about 1,000 gallons/day
· Managers use a combination of grazing and conﬁned feeding to nourish the herd
· 15-20 student employees help run the dairy
· Faculty and graduate student research projects include: animal nutrition, animal behavior, cow comfort, and farm nutrient/waste management
Protecting a Valuable Resource
The OSU Dairy is making strides to protect the land and water resources that serve the dairy. Some of the advancements involve new technologies. Others utilize old technologies and dairy management techniques but with an awareness of watershed perspectives and issues.
Miles of new fencing have been installed on the dairy lands to control livestock
movement. Although fences increase labor and equipment costs, dairy managers are able to:
· Manage pasture conditions more closely
· Protect riparian, wetland and stream habitats
· Maintain quality forage for livestock
· Help control water movement and soil erosion
· Improve ﬁsh & wildlife habitat and water quality
· Reduces soil compaction
· Enhances uniform water inﬁltration
· Aerator blades help reduce rapid transport of surface applied water and reduce surface run-off
· Aerates soil proﬁle
· Reduces odors
· Reduces run-of via worm and mammal holes
The College of Agriculture, especially the Departments of Animal Science and Fisheries & Wildlife, offers research and development of new techniques and technologies to protect and enhance air and water quality. Stewardship of the natural resources of the Agriculture Reach is essential for long-term sustainability of the Oak Creek watershed, for all users both human and non-human.
The OSU Dairy Center works with many groups to foster communication, improve management, and provide public services, such as demonstration of sound conservation practices.
Earth Day Community Revegetation Project - OSU Dairy co-sponsored a native vegetation planting project in the spring of 2003 to enhance riparian conditions in the watershed. A diverse group of Oak Creek users and citizens from both inside and outside the campus community were invited to a celebration of this place we call home. Music, food, and celebration encouraged open communication to help build trust between diverse worldviews. Over 5,000 trees and hundreds of native wetland plants were planted. This event will continue annually.
Youth group involvement/sponsorship - The Department of Animal Science's Dairy Club is working with youth groups to help young people get involved in the management of natural resources.
· Both Benton County Juvenile Service and the Corvallis Boys and Girls Clubs participate in riparian enhancement efforts near Oak Creek and a community vegetable garden project near the Oak Grove, just East of 53rd Street off Campus Way.
· Future Farmers of America and 4-H — The Dairy Club hosts both of these groups annually for State of Oregon dairy judging competitions.
Community Outreach & Education - The door is always open. We invite the community to learn more about what's going on in the Oak Creek Watershed. Visit the lambing barn in the springtime or the cows at the dairy anytime. Contact the Animal Sciences Department to arrange a tour to learn more about our operations, research, and agricultural heritage.
Jerseys are known for their high butter fat rich milk.
Holsteins are known for their high milk production.