WSU Cougar Head Logo Washington State University
WSU Insider
News and Information for Faculty, Staff, and the WSU Community

Whey facility will clean waste, provide career training

By Scott Weybright, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

PULLMAN, Wash. – When the Washington State University creamery makes cheese, only 10 percent of the milk purchased from WSU’s Knott Dairy winds up in the final product. That will change soon when ground is broken on a new expansion.

Until now, 15,000 pounds of milk has resulted in 1,500 pounds of cheese; the remaining liquid, called whey, is a waste product.

creamery-expansion
A rendering of the creamery with the new whey processing facility and truck bay.

A new whey processing facility, which will be attached to the creamery and Ferdinand’s Ice Cream Shoppe, will filter out organic material from the whey. The resulting water will be clean enough to simply flow down the drain.

“For the past several years, we’ve pumped our whey into tanker trucks and hauled it out to the dairy farm,” said John Haugen, creamery manager. “Now we’ll be able to separate all the proteins and other components, just like commercial cheese factories.”

That’s useful because, in addition to selling Cougar Gold and other cheeses, the creamery is a teaching facility. It provides paid training for students who want to work in the dairy industry. Having hands-on experience in whey processing will give WSU students an advantage in an industry that’s always looking for uses for leftover whey, Haugen said.

The new facility will include a reverse osmosis system and other membrane filtration equipment, along with training space and administrative offices. It will house a receiving bay large enough to provide important safety and security measures for the two tanker trucks operated by the creamery.

Building construction will cost up to $4 million, not including equipment. The creamery is funding the construction, which is expected to take nine months to complete.

Haugen is planning for a grand opening in October or November.

 

Contact:
John Haugen, WSU creamery manager, 509-335-5737, jfhaugen@wsu.edu

 

 

Next Story

Recent News

Cougs show generous spirit on Giving Tuesday

The Cougar community participated in Giving Tuesday on Nov. 29 by making 198 donations, totaling $55,960, spread between 100 unique funding areas across the WSU system.

Inclement weather updates

Supervisors and instructors across the WSU system are encouraged to practice flexibility for students and employees who are unable to report to campus safely due to inclement weather.

Find More News

Subscribe for more updates