dairy farm

A dairy barn on campus in 1939. Photo courtesy of Northern Arizona University, Cline Library, Special Collections and Archives. (NAU.ARC.1939-15-30).

Let Inside NAU take you back in time this summer with tidbits of university history.

Cash cows
In September 1923, the Northern Arizona Normal School (now NAU) purchased a small herd of Holstein cattle and constructed a dairy barn on southeast campus to provide the dining hall with milk at a low cost.

During the Great Depression, poorer residents would come to campus carrying little buckets in hope for some free milk.

In 1940, NAU President Thomas J. Tormey negotiated the sale of the college’s 29 Holstein cows to a Flagstaff firm, citing that maintaining the herd was no longer cost-effective or worth the health hazard posed by unpasteurized milk. The selling of the herd was indicative of the country’s economic recovery from the Depression.