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The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Knott Dairy Center produces WSU dairy products for over 60 years

KDC creates milk, cheese and student opportunities
A+cow+at+the+Knott+Dairy+Center+southwest+of+Pullman%2C+Wash.
COURTESY OF JESSICA KONOP
A cow at the Knott Dairy Center southwest of Pullman, Wash.

The Knott Dairy Center is the operating dairy research and teaching center that provides milk for Ferdinand’s Ice Cream and Cougar Gold Cheese.

The KDC has been in operation for more than six decades and has approximately 180 lactating cows, according to the WSU College of Agriculture, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences. Within the last four years, the KDC has produced over 85 pounds of milk per day, dairy manager Celina Matuk-Sarinana said.

“We only produce fluid milk in order to guarantee the freshness. All dairy products are stored under refrigeration systems at the farm, creamery and during transport,” Matuk-Sarinana said.

KDC founder Joseph Carlton Knott graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1920 and a master’s degree in 1930 from the State College of Washington, later known as WSU, Matuk-Sarinana said. Knott later graduated with a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1941.

Knott was a professor at WSU in 1958 and became the dean and director of the newly-formed Institute of Agricultural Sciences at the start of the program in 1946, Matuk-Sarinana said. He was known for his expertise, especially in the breeding and care of Holstein cows.

“Knott raised award-winning cows,” Matuk-Sarinana said.

The KDC relocated southwest of Pullman in 1959 and has been operational since 1961, Matuk-Sarinana said.

The KDC originally housed 80 cows and later modified the space in the ‘90s to house 100 more milking cows, Matuk-Sarinana said.

The KDC generates opportunities in order to provide the best practices for dairy and foods, according to the WSU College of Agriculture, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences.

“Our fluid milk is produced with the help of students who are learning real-world standards such as cleaning and sanitation,” Matuk-Sarinana said.

Student worker Jessica Konop is a WSU undergraduate student studying animal science.

Konop said she has been working at the KDC since September 2022. She works a variety of shifts, mucking out stalls, feeding the animals and milking cows.

Konop said she had no prior experience with dairy or cattle. While working at the KDC, Konop gained experience with animals to prepare herself for veterinary school.

The KDC has been crucial in preparing Konop for her future, Konop said. She is learning something new at the KDC every day.

“Over one year at Knott, I feel that I have learned more information about cattle than I ever could in a classroom,” Konop said.

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About the Contributor
Julian Caballero is a photographer for the Daily Evergreen. He is a junior broadcast production major from Tacoma, Washington. Julian began working for the Daily Evergreen in fall 2022.

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  • David KnottNov 30, 2023 at 11:15 am

    Good article!

    David Knott, Joe’s grandson