The Pasture Dairy Center at Michigan State University's W. K. Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) studies the integration of ecological, social and economic principles important for sustainable agriculture. The center incorporates automatic milking technology, allowing researchers to investigate the social and behavioral activities of cows, as well as pasture-based management, supporting research on sustainable ecosystem processes and animal welfare.

After opening in 2009, the barn at the Pasture Dairy Center earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification, demonstrating highly efficient use of resources in building design. Additionally, the facility received certification from the Michigan Agricultural Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP), honoring their pledge to prevent and minimize agricultural pollution.

Led by motivated leaders like Howard Straub, manager at the Pasture Dairy Center, and Brook Wilke Ph.D., farm manager at KBS, the dairy center team is continually investigating sustainable farming practices that can be applied to a variety of statewide and regional farming operations. In recognition of these efforts, the Pasture Dairy Center received Gold-level Spartan Green Certification in April 2015.

Researchers at the Pasture Dairy Center are discovering strategies to reduce their environmental impact without sacrificing production, allowing them to partner with other farms and provide education on integrating sustainable practices into modern farming across the state.

To learn more about the Pasture Dairy Center at KBS, visit

To learn more about having your space green certified in the fall, visit the Spartan Green Certification page.