A summer visit to the UCONN Dairy Bar includes animals, technology, and tasty treats

STORRS - Animals, technology and sweets!  Put 'em all together and you've got a visit to the UCONN Dairy Bar that's fun, educational and delicious.

Visitors can begin this trip to the Horsebarn Hill area of the University of Connecticut campus with a stop at the Kellogg Dairy Center.

"This is the part of the barn where we house our milking animals," said Steve Zinn, head of the Animal Science Department, as he strolls past Jersey and Holstein cows that are milked there everyday.  "From a quality perspective, we’re a 'Top 20' herd in the United States.  So, we have the best milk you can make and that milk goes right into our ice cream."

That's right - the milk is taken a short distance to this manufacturing plant next where UCONN's famous ice cream is made.  An icy mixture swirls from cold pipes into a three gallon tub, filled in a minute and a half.

"We're going to make 180 of them today," said Bill Sciturro, manager of dairy manufacturing.

The creamery produces more than 50,000 gallons of ice cream a year!  Tubs are stamped, stickered and placed in a freezer.

Folks can watch this busy scene from an observation window in the UCONN Dairy Bar where the cold concoction is sold.

"We have around 26 flavors," said Ethan Haggerty of the ice cream shop. "There are 4 or 5 seasonal items.  Right now, we have 'peach' which is very limited availability each year."

Students in the Animal Science program are involved in every step of the process - fascinating to adults and kids alike.

"To see the animals and get an idea where food comes from, how the milk is made, and then to actually eat the product does connect it for everybody," said Zinn.  "It’s a beautiful walk - about 3 miles.  You can do the walk, have ice cream, and really get close to see the animals and it’s free."

There are also animal barn self- guided tours - another part of this delicious summer experience!

The UCONN Dairy Bar hosts 300,000 visitors each year.  The barns are open from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. each day.  Folks can embark on a free, self-guided tour and see the cows milked at 12:30pm.  Click here for more information.