Today marked the official start of construction for two new barns at the University of Vermont Miller Research complex. One barn will be used for research, the other for instructional use by the CREAM program (Cooperative for Real Education in Agricultural Management).
This is the first phase of a three-phase $10 million upgrade of the farm. Tom Vogelmann, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences says a lot has changed since the old facility was built back in the 1960s, including the size of the cows. They have been bred to be 30 percent larger than they were 40 years ago. And more space will allow the program to grow.
With agriculture becoming increasingly important, the university would like to see the farm complex become the “farm for the future.” One of the challenges for modern farms will be to become as energy-efficient as possible, Vogelmann said. The new barn will be built with a goal to become energy neutral down the line. The new barns will be structurally equipped for solar panels, to be added at a later time, and they’re looking at methane digesters to create bio-gas.
DEW Construction Corp. was hired as general contractor for the project and S2 Architecture is providing architectural services. The project is slated for completion in September of this year.