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In 1890 the first dairy foods short course in the United States was established at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Since then, the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the Center for Dairy Research and the Department of Food Science and have been leaders in research and outreach education beneficial to the dairy industry and consumers. The Center for Dairy Research continues to provide quality outreach education to fit the expanded needs of the food industry in today’s environment.

A full service dairy research center, CDR offers solution-based research backed by experience, passion and tradition. Located within a licensed dairy plant on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, CDR provides product development to continuing education and technical support to safety/quality support.

Primarily supported by dairy farmer checkoff dollars, the CDR was established to support the Wisconsin and U.S. dairy industry. CDR offers expertise in six main areas: cheese, dairy ingredients, cultured products, dairy beverages, quality/safety and dairy processing. Each of these areas are supported by expertise in dairy product research, analytical testing, sensory analysis and functionality, education and training, and business development. The staff of 40 plus bring over 400 years of industry experience to the academic setting, providing the unique ability to always conduct research with an eye to how it will help the dairy industry be successful and grow. After all, the CDR's success is the dairy industry's success.

CDR Staff


The Center for Dairy Research proudly supports the foremost scientific expertise in dairy research, technical support and education. In partnership with the U.S. dairy industry, our goal is to bring innovative, nutritious and profitable products to the global marketplace.


To be the premier scientific dairy research resource by having:

  • Expert, dedicated staff
  • State of the art facilities
  • Relevant cutting edge research
  • Unrivaled outreach and education

To turn knowledge and expertise into the dairy industry’s success by bridging cutting-edge research with practical education and outreach.


The facilities including a cheese pilot plant, cultured products pilot plant, dairy ingredients pilot plant, sensory lab, an analytical lab and an applications lab are available for CDR partner trial runs and testing. CDR is continuing to grow and as we move forward with our building campaign, we will be expanding our facilities and offerings based on client needs. CDR Building Project


CDR is funded by dairy farmers through the dairy check off program and partners such as the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin and the Dairy Research Institute. Given this generous and unique partnership, CDR’s main emphasis is domestic bovine milk products and manufacturers. We are, however, available to assist international dairy companies as well as mixed milk manufacturers on a cost basis.

Working with CDR

We make working with us as easy as possible. Since we are primarily funded by the Dairy Farmer Checkoff program and the dairy industry, as long as your project is focused on improving the Wisconsin and US dairy industry, involves a dairy product or ingredient, and your companyis based in Wisconsin or the U.S., we are here to help you.