Dairy Science Club sends ice cream to D.C.

Vanessa Franklin

Kildee Hall’s favorite Wednesday treat made its way to Washington, D.C., this week.

The ISU Dairy Science Club spent a little more than a week preparing three gallons of vanilla ice cream for the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Congressional Creamery Social that took place Tuesday.

Iowa State was one of 14 schools to send in dairy products for the APLU social. Among the other schools were Kansas State, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Missouri.

The APLU Creamery Social is intended to celebrate the education, research and entrepreneurship of colleges of agriculture. Although this is the second APLU Creamery Social, the Dairy Science Club’s ice cream will make its debut.

“One of the main goals for the club is education, so from my perspective, any chance we have to reach out to other people to tell them what we do as an organization and get them interested is something we have to take advantage of,” said Celina Young, senior in agricultural business and Dairy Science Club president.

Christen Burgett, lecturer in animal science and Dairy Science Club adviser, said the club learned about the opportunity to showcase its ice cream through a series of emails. The club had a short timeline to prepare, as the ice cream had to be shipped and received by Feb. 4.

“[The students] are always happy to help fill orders and showcase their product,” Burgett said. “That’s kind of their way to promote the dairy industry, so I think they’re happy to make it work.” 

While a total of about 90 students are involved with the Dairy Science Club, less than 10 students work on the ice cream committee. Melissa Heims, senior in agronomy and co-chairwoman of the ice cream committee, said while the committee does the planning, all students in the club are able to participate in helping make the ice cream.

Heims and Burgett both agreed that the club would like to participate in sending ice cream to the social next year but hope to have more time to prepare unique flavors.

“[I’d like to] send in some of our more creative flavors like Heath caramel or chocolate Reeses or ask them what they would like to see,” Heims said. “We like to do that around campus anyways.”

Young said the club is currently working on creating a brand and hopes to unveil new ice cream containers branded with the club’s name for next year.

“I think it would be cool if we could actually ship our cups of ice cream rather than sending gallons,” Young said. “If we could send them a wide variety, that would really give them a taste of what the experience of Dairy Science Club is like.” 

After the club approved the idea to send its ice cream, Heims said the club was tasked with not only taking the time to mix the ice cream but also find a way to ship it. The club uses Anderson Erickson ice cream premix to make its famous $1 treat. Mixing typically begins at 8 p.m. Tuesdays and lasts well into the afternoon.

“The mixing is also all sorts of fun because we do karaoke while we’re there,” Heims said. “We’ll be mixing and singing. We’re not good singers, but it doesn’t matter because it’s loud down there.”

The club uses the meat lab in Kildee Hall every week to prepare its ice cream. Each student who helps in the process must be food safety certified.

Burgett said shipping the ice cream on dry ice would have required more time than was available, so the club’s ice cream had to be shipped on ice packs instead.

“People out in Washington, D.C., are excited to try our ice cream and so that’s really kind of exciting and neat to be a part of,” Burgett said. “Hopefully it continues on in the future.”

To give the ice cream a taste test, members of the Dairy Science Club sell cups from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Wdnesday outside of Lush Auditorium in Kildee Hall.