A new Raleigh museum will give visitors the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in a dairy farm and learn about the importance of the dairy industry in North Carolina, the history of Jersey cows and more.
After an April 13 dedication ceremony, the Randleigh Dairy Heritage Museum is now open for scheduled tours and soon will have public access times available. The Museum is located on the NC State Dairy Farm, part of the University’s Lake Wheeler Road Field Laboratory.
“Today, it’s my honor and privilege to celebrate the latest chapter in this long legacy of advancing culture, education and innovation through the dedication of the Randleigh Dairy Heritage Museum,” said NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson at the event. “It is a beautiful facility, and it will stand as the testimony to the Kenan family legacy by educating children and adults alike about the Randleigh heritage and the dairy industry.”
In addition to cutting the ribbon to open the museum, participants also broke ground on a new Dairy Education Center and Creamery that will feature NC State’s popular Howling Cow ice cream.
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean Richard Linton describes the Lake Wheeler Road Field Lab – where the museum, education center and creamery are located – as a “farm of the future.”
“This is not only a classroom and laboratory, but also an agritourism destination that will demonstrate the future of agriculture to school children, policy makers and the public,” Linton said.
In the 1920s, William R. Kenan, Jr., established his Randleigh Farm in Lockport, New York. He was passionate about animal husbandry, cattle diseases and development of a clean milk supply. He hosted seminars for dairy producers and demonstrated modern dairy practices to the public. Kenan bequeathed his farm and the Randleigh Jersey herd to the University of North Carolina System, along with an endowment to benefit agricultural education.
The Jersey cows grazing at NC State’s Lake Wheeler Dairy Farm are the progeny of the Randleigh herd, and Kenan’s bequest has been the cornerstone of the farm and dairy facilities here today – and the research and teaching they support.
“We are grateful for the Kenan family’s legacy to the university and vision in establishing the Randleigh Dairy Heritage Museum,” Linton said. “This is the future of dairy education.”
Gary Cartwright, director of the NC State Dairy Enterprise System, agrees.
“This is truly another beginning – the beginning of educating the people of the Triangle, North Carolina and the Southeast about dairy, Jersey Cows and the significant contributions made to this industry by the Kenan family.”