Dr. Leland Allenstein Teaching Herd - Introduction and History
In August 2000, the University of Wisconsin, School of Veterinary Medicine, purchased a herd of Holstein cows from Dennis and Mary Kay RuKamp. Their farm is located near DePere Wisconsin and has been in the RuKamp family for over 129 years. Dennis and Mary Kay bought the farm from Dennis' father in 1976. Their goal was to have a herd of cows that milked well. When they started the RHA was about 14,000 lbs, when the herd was sold the RHA was about 23,000 lbs.
Dennis and Mary Kay have 5 children, all of whom participated in 4-H. All but one showed cows at the Brown County Fair. Faye (Swoosh's Dam) was selected as Reserve Grand Champion at the 1996 fair. Serena was named Reserve Champion in 1999. Ace, Merry, Sweet Lu, and Griffey were also shown at fairs. For 25 years, the RuKamps hosted school tours on their farm.
Mary Kay says "Selling our cows to the Veterinary School has made us very proud of our Dairy Herd. Knowing that all the hard work that went into getting them to this point has paid off. We wanted the herd kept together and we wanted to know they'd be taken care of, like we did or better. We hope the herd works out well for you and we pray that by the students working with them, they'll decide to become large animal vets. We need more Dr. Edie Brandt's (SVM Class of 1988) in the dairy business."
(provided by Dennis and Mary Kay RuKamp in Sept. 2000)
In September of 2011, the Teaching Herd merged with the dairy cows managed at the Dairy Cattle Center on campus and the Arlington Blaine Dairy by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. In April 2012, the Dairy Cattle Center on campus will be remodelled to further improve cow care and the student teaching environment.