People waiting in line to get ice cream at the UNL Dairy Store.
UNL Dairy Store during its relocation celebration event on March 12, 2020. Photo by Jensyn Burchett

The first UNL Dairy Store started in 1917 on the back of a wagon. 

“If you brought your own glass and paid a nickel, you could drink all the milk that you could drink,” said Michael Boehm, vice chancellor of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. 

The UNL Dairy Store offers dairy products including ice cream and cheese which is handmade by UNL students in the dairy plant. 

In October 2019, the Dairy Store opened its new location, which is just on the opposite side of the building from where the previous location was. 

On March 12, The Dairy Store had a relocation celebration as part of College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources week. 

“We were looking for a good time to just kind of reintroduce the store to our customers who have maybe been hibernating over the winter,” said Terry Howell, executive director of the Food Processing Center at UNL. 

During this celebration the Dairy Store handed out free ice cream.

The relocating of the Dairy Store is a part of a larger plan for East Campus. Buildings like the East Campus Union and the C.Y. Thompson Library are undergoing renovations. 

“There’s a grand, kind of, master plan for East Campus and this was just, you know, the first domino that fell,” Howell said. 

Boehm said that the old location felt like a wide spot in the hallway and now it has its own space. 

“I think there’ll be a whole new generation of people who remember the dairy store being here,” Boehm said. “This is an exciting space.”

Along with the relocation of the Dairy Store, the dairy plant will also be moving. 

Josie Houston, the dairy plant manager, said In the next couple of months, the dairy plant will relocate from the Dairy Store over to Innovation Campus to be with the food processing center.

IMG 9001 300x225 - UNL Dairy Store celebrates relocation, advocates for Nebraska’s dairy industry
Josie Houston, dairy plant manager. Photo by Jensyn Burchett.

A big part of the relocation of the Dairy Store and dairy plant is to help the dairy industry in Nebraska. 

“We’re trying to grow this business and do some different things, working with the dairy industry about what needs they might need,” Houston said. 

Houston also said it’s surprising Nebraska even has a dairy plant because the dairy industry is small. 

The new location and features of the Dairy Store will hopefully help with that.

“We’re looking forward to utilizing this space as really a launching spot for promoting dairy and growing dairy across Nebraska,” Howell said.