Badger Ice Cream

University of Wisconsin's Babcock Ice Cream

To blog about university creameries and not include a college from America’s premier dairy state borders on sacrilege. So as not to slight the great state of cheese and dairy (and avoid the wrath of the ice cream gods), today’s blog features The University of Wisconsin‘s Babcock Ice Cream.

Babcock Ice Cream is made and sold at the oldest collegiate dairy plant in the United States, Babcock Hall, located on campus at the corner of Linden and Babcock Drive.

Dr. Stephen Babcock.

Babcock Ice Cream. Babcock Hall. Babcock Drive. Have you noticed a trend? Lets try one more. The Babcock Test for Dr. Stephen M. Babcock. If his name doesn’t ring a bell for you, I’ll give you another hint. He served on UW’s agricultural chemistry department from 1888 to 1913.

If you’re still drawing a blank, it’s time you learned of this game changer. Dr. Babcock was responsible for creating various tests and methods that improved dairy production. Most important of these was the aforementioned Babcock Test. In fact, many credit the test as the foundation on which the modern dairy industry was built.

The Babcock Test, quite simply, measured the fat content of milk. If this doesn’t sound very exciting to you, think of it as Apple launching a new product called iMilk. It was that huge!

The Babcock test standardized milk inspection, stabilized milk pricing and improved milk quality. Dr. Babcock could have been a rich man with his discovery, but he refused to patent his test saying it was for the benefit of mankind. Imagine someone being that selfless these days. The man was a dairy rock star!

So, to the University of Wisconsin. I tip my hat to you that you’ve honored this great man by naming a road, your dairy plant, and most importantly, your ice cream after him.

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