The development of modern dairying, which began around 1850, has been driven by the growth of urban markets and by scientific, technological, and economic factors: the invention of specialized machines, notably the cream separator (see separator, cream) and mechanized milking machines (and more recently automatic, or robotic, milking machines); research in chemistry, physics, and bacteriology; the discovery of pasteurization; the introduction of the test devised by American agricultural chemist S. M. Babcock for determining the fat content of milk; improved refrigeration and transportation; the discovery of new uses for the byproducts of milk processing; and increased milk productivity resulting from scientific feeding of cattle and the application of advanced biotechnology to breeding. Traditional small-scale dairy farms have increasingly been replaced by larger operations with herds of 1,000 cows or more.
See G. Schmidt and L. D. Van Vleck,
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Agriculture: General