Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station

Custer Dairy Processing Plant



The Custer Dairy Processing Plant is a unit of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and is located in the Herzer Building on the campus of Mississippi State University. The plant is a teaching and research laboratory for students studying dairy foods at Mississippi State University. The facility houses some of the most modern equipment available.

The cheese operation is a by-product of the research program. The plant also offers educational opportunities for students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. In addition to cheese, the dairy-processing plant manufactures all the fluid milk products, ice cream and butter that are used on the MSU campus and serves as one of the University's unique public relations venues.

The proceeds from the sale of products allow the the dairy plant to be a self-supporting operation and provides some financial support for the research program.


Where does the dairy plant get its milk from?
The dairy plant utilizes all of the milk produced at the MSU dairy farm.

Do you conduct tours of the dairy plant?
Yes, we do conduct tours of the dairy processing plant. Tours can be scheduled by calling Donna Bland at (662) 325-3200.

What products do you make at the MSU dairy plant?
We make seven types of cheeses, fluid milk, butter, and sixteen flavors of ice cream.

How can I purchase MSU dairy products?
All of our products can be purchased year round at the MAFES Sales Store located in the Herzer building on the Mississippi State University campus.

How often do you make cheese?
We make cheese five days a week year round.

How long has MSU been making cheese?
MSU started making Edam cheese in 1938.

How much cheese is made at the MSU Dairy Plant annually?
We make over 300,000 pounds of cheese annually.

How long is it from the time you make the cheese until it is ready to be sold?
All of our cheeses age for at least 3 months.

What is the difference between a mild cheese and a sharp cheese?
The only difference between the two is the amount of time it has aged.

Do students make the cheese?
No, we have a full time staff that is responsible for the production of cheese. We do employ students for the boxing and waxing of the cheese.

What is the most popular cheese that you make?
Edam Cheese is the most popular with cheddar being close behind it.

Does the dairy plant sell its products in any retail outlets?
The only place that our products are sold is on campus and via the web site.