The Argus Leader reports a 50-year-old dairy plant owned by South Dakota State University is undergoing a $9.3 million expansion.

The expansion adds modernized equipment and space to improve teaching facilities and research capabilities. With the 10,850 square foot expansion to the east side of the building, the plant will total 17,900 square feet.

All but $1 million used for the project was funded by private donors. The Jackrabbit Dairy Council, composed of dairy industry partners and private individuals across the country, played a key role supporting the expansion which will open next summer.

“The existing plant is ... 50 years old,” said Vikram Mistry, professor and head of the Dairy Science Department. “The equipment also is aged, so the technology that we’re using is old technology, and what we’re doing is training new students for the future.”

South Dakota State is one of two universities in the country teaching both dairy production and manufacturing.

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