Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia will officially break ground on a new $5 million animal and dairy science facility at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, May 29 at its property on Double Bridges Road.
The site, aptly named Double Bridges Farm, will house the sheep, beef cattle and swine facilities of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
“Right now our farms are old and in disrepair,” said Steve Nickerson, head of the UGA animal and dairy science department. “This will allow us to have top-notch research facilities and give students up-to-date classrooms that will allow them to be more hands-on with the livestock. The more modern we can make our facilities for student learning, the better.”
Area residents who are used to driving down South Milledge and looking for Freckles, UGA’s longhorn steer, need not worry, Nickerson said. “The sheep and Freckles will be right off of Highway 78. There will be a place to park to see him and the spring lambs.”
On Tuesday, Nickerson will start the program, followed by UGA President Michael Adams, CAES Dean and Director J. Scott Angle, CAES Associate Dean for research Robert Shulstad, former Sen. Brian Kemp (R-Athens) and Rep. Terry England (R-Auburn).
England will also present the UGA Livestock Judging Team a check for $5,000, Nickerson said.
Double Bridges Farm will replace the South Milledge Avenue facility. Plans are to start site preparation this fall and begin construction in the spring of 2008.
“The plan is to be at the facility in two years,” Nickerson said. “It’s going to be an environmentally-friendly farm. We’re going to preserve green space, and our goal is to be good neighbors. We want to be an example for other producers.”
The new facility will also allow the UGA program to operate its feed and other resources and day-to-day research more efficiently, he said.
Located east of Athens directly across from the UGA Dairy Teaching Center, the farm has acreage in both Oglethorpe and Clarke counties. It is bordered on the northeast by Hwy. 78 and on the south by Double Bridges Road.