In 1928, W.K. Kellogg deeded the Kellogg Farm to Michigan State College, now Michigan State University, with the intention that the College would “… operate this farm under a most modern system of farm management so that it may serve as an object lesson to the people of the region in which it is located.” C.M. McCrary became the first farm manager in 1930. Kellogg and McCrary quickly recognized the importance of forage and pasture in building good quality soil. Twenty-eight purebred Guernsey cows, purchased in 1928, were the foundation of the original dairy herd. The Guernsey herd was recognized as one of the best in the US before being sold in the late 1970’s.
In 1984, the KBS dairy reopened. At this time, the facilities represented ‘state-of-the-art’ dairy production and included a free-stall barn, a double six herringbone milking parlor, and milked approximately 100 registered Holstein cows three times a day. The herd was also changed to Holsteins to reflect the industry trend of the time. Milk production was about 25,000 pounds per cow per year (9 gallons per day) when this facility closed.
In 2009, the dairy herd at the Kellogg Farm was moved to the Pasture Dairy Barn. This move began the transition form a conventional dairy system to pasture-based dairy with automatic milking systems (AMS). On most dairy farms cows are milked on a strict schedule two to three times per day with a person manually cleaning each cows udder and attaching teat cups to the cow in preparation for milking; in the AMS dairy the robot does the cleaning and attachment and the cow decides when and how often she is milked each day.