Milk is Oregon’s official state beverage and its fourth-largest agricultural commodity. However, when dairy researcher Floyd Bodyfelt joined the AES faculty in 1964, milk came from the dairies in metal cans, and sanitation was a concern. He set to improving the quality of Oregon dairy products with the mantra “the final product is only as good as the raw materials going into it.”
Over the decades, Bodyfelt worked to improve the shelf life and flavor stability of dairy products; perfected ice cream quality; and refined lactic cultures for cheese manufacture, which helped save the Tillamook-centered cheese industry more than $1 million per year.
Work continues in dairy science, from new research on animal care to new markets for artisan cheese. In 2012, OSU unveiled its Beaver Classic cheese, an alpine-style product made by Oregon State students using milk from the university’s dairy herd.