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Babcock Hall

About Us

Food impacts everyone every day, but have you ever wondered what impacts food? Of course, many key influences and voices affect the food we eat. Our belief and passion is that science must continue to resonate and shape the world of food – a voice that originates from Food Science. We invite you to join us and embark on a path to learn fundamental chemistry, biology, and physics disciplines and add your voice to our mission to make food safe, sustainable, and available for everyone.

Our History

The University of Wisconsin is one of the first land-grant universities in the United States, which provided the opportunity to expand the school’s agricultural studies. The Department of Food Science (initially called Dairy Husbandry) started in 1890 in a small frame building for farmers trained in butter and cheese-making operations. The Department of Dairy Husbandry was the first dairy school established, which developed the first short courses in the United States in 1930. Short courses are specific classes that strive to teach someone a particular topic in a short amount of time.

Stephen Moulton Babcock, the creator of the butterfat tests, was an Agricultural Chemist for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After the success of his butterfat tests in 1890, course enrollment exploded from two to seventy-two and the butterfat tests became the standard for testing the quality of milk and the basis of milk pricing. Hiram Smith Hall was constructed in 1892 to hold all the new equipment and students. From then on, the Department of Food Science kept growing. Babcock Hall, located at 1605 Linden Drive, was constructed in 1952. The construction demolished the initial small frame building to make room for this new modern building which is still used today. Babcock also assisted UW Bacteriologist Harry Russell in developing the cold-curdling process of ripening cheese in 1897.

Our Staff

Our biggest asset is the collection of leading faculty and experienced staff dedicated to helping you meet your educational and career goals. Every door is open, and every conversation is welcome as you navigate each academic year.

Our Students

With various background and interests, Food Science students work closely together to support and guide each other through the standard curriculum and a host of extracurricular activities. We welcome you to engage with them and bring your own experiences and insights to this community.

Recent News

Manufacturing Equipment Technician at Babcock Hall Dairy Plant This position will assist with the manufacture of all products made at the Babcock Hall dairy plant. The incumbent also cleans processing…

Photo of professor Richard Hartel Donor: William C. Winder (deceased) Professor Richard Hartel was invited to the College of Agriculture and Life Science (CALS) Investiture Ceremony on Tuesday, September 26,…

(Photo by Hyunsoo Léo Kim | University Communications) Dairy Plant Cheesemaker at Babcock Hall Dairy Plant This position directs the manufacturing of natural/processed/cold pack cheeses in the dairy plant setting.…