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- The Penn State Berkey Creamery Story
This is the story of theBerkey Creamery
Dairy research began at Penn State in 1865, and we've been setting milestones ever since.
With our science-based process, we're creating some of the best dairy products in the country.
Luscious ice creams and gooey cheeses are the pride of our hometown.
A Penn State Tradition since 1865
The mission of the Berkey Creamery is to support the teaching, research and outreach programs of the Department of Food Science, to provide quality dairy products to students in on-campus housing, and to maintain an economically viable retail outlet for dairy products to the University community.
Over the last 150 years, the Creamery has been an important Penn State landmark and a world leader in dairy production and food science. Take a journey through time.
The First Creamery
The Creamery is established in the “College Barns” behind present-day Old Main along with a blacksmith’s shop and hayloft.
Due to Henry Armsby's efforts to upgrade the college's instruction and research in dairying, a one-story building containing a cold-storage room, cream-ripening room, workroom, and office space is built as part of a $7,000 state appropriation.
Pennsylvania State College offers four- and eight-week dairy short courses that include lessons on making ice cream, making it the first collegiate institution to offer such instruction.
After relocation, Creamery processing operations greatly increase, research and development of pasteurized milk is established, the Dairy Manufacturing major is created and retail delivery of pasteurized milk and cream begins.
Borland Era Begins
Ice cream research thrives at the Creamery under the direction of Andrew Borland 1909 Agr, Chester Dahle, and Francis J. Doan, '19, '28, MS Agr.
Borland Time Capsule
With plans for a new Creamery in the works, Andrew Borland plants a time capsule in his namesake building to be opened at a later date.
Production increases enough that milk and cream must be purchased from 300 area farmers. The Creamery sells milk, cheese and ice cream in the State College and Altoona markets.
A small fleet of Penn State Creamery trucks delivers milk locally.
Keeney Era Begins
Dahle retires, and the University Creamery - as it is now called - adds Philip Keeney '55 PhD Agr to its staff. Keeney teaches the ice cream short course for 30 years.
The Creamery adds a raw milk receiving room, then a salesroom along Curtin Road for walk-ins who want to try its 24 flavors. Demand continues to increase as improved refrigeration becomes available in homes and supermarkets.
Berkey Milk Company Opens
Over the years, the Berkeys help many Penn Staters gain a foothold in the industry. Five of their superintendents are Penn State graduates and their plant is used for University milk testing.
Food Science Department
Penn State's Department of Food Science is created and begins to grow into one of the nation's most prestigious programs.
Ben and Jerry at PSU
Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield take a $5 Penn State correspondence course on making ice cream before launching Ben and Jerry's later that year.
The Creamery is going through about 3 million pounds of milk a year to produce milk, cheese, and other dairy products and serve as a research facility for the Department of Food Science.
Tom Palchak '80 Agr suceeds Raymond Binkley '55 Agr as the sixth manager in Creamery history.
The new flavor debuts after the Penn State football team's second national championship and continues to grow in popularity.
Rodney Erickson Building
The Creamery moves into the new $46-million Food Science building with a spacious salesroom, modern processing plant, and plenty of classroom and lab space. To celebrate, the Creamery unearths the Borland time capsule.
The Creamery celebrates 150 years of dairy processing with a new flavor, Birthday Bash. The flavor was chosen and named by Penn State state alumni, students, employees, and fans.
So how do we ensure every scoop of ice cream is as smooth and delicious as the last? We’ve got it down to a science—literally. The methods developed by Penn State’s food and dairy scientists have made the Creamery a world authority on ice cream and dairy manufacturing.
Explore our process in just 12 steps.
A herd of over 200 Holsteins is milked twice daily. Later, the milk is chilled, tested and stored in silos.
Ingredients like cream and sugar, plus powdered milk and a small amount of stabilizer, are added.
The mix is pasteurized at high a temperature to kill off harmful bacteria.
During pasteurization, the mix is homogenized to break down fat globules into a smooth mixture.
A tank cools the mixture to 37 degrees and holds it there for 24 hours.
Liquid flavorings (for example, strawberry or mint) are injected into the flavor tank.
The mix is aerated and pumped through a processing freezer, where the temperature drops to 21 degrees.
In a long tube, blades called "dashers" constantly turn so the mix thickens.
Whole ingredients, like fruit, nuts and candy are added.
Ice cream is poured into a range of containers from Dixie cups to three-gallon tubs.
The hardening room-set at a cool 35 degrees below-rapidly freezes the product.
Ice cream is then moved to a tempering room, where it becomes soft enough to serve.
Ice Cream Short Course
Our legendary short course has attracted some of the biggest names in ice cream, from Baskin-Robbins to Haagen-Dazs. For six days a year, industry pros flock to Penn State from around the world to learn how to craft ice cream perfection.More about the course.
More Than Ice Cream
The Creamery supports the Department of Food Science and the dairy industry by providing continuing education and training and serving as a working lab for students, scientists, and professionals performing cutting-edge research into food science and safety.Learn More
- Congratulations! 25 Years! We recognized Todd Gantt, Special Relief Utility Operator, for 25 years of outstanding service in 2017. Thank you, Todd!
- Berkey Creamery Manager Tom Davis Tom oversees the strategy and operations of the Creamery, including the dairy plant, salesroom, and business operations.
- Berkey Creamery Assistant Manager James Brown Jim runs the daily operation of the Creamery salesroom, supervises staff, controls inventory, and provides PR services.
- Business Manager Joyce Cingel In addition to supervising the daily operation of Creamery support staff, Joyce also helps staff the phones. If you call us, you may get Joyce!
- Dairy Product Processor (Cultured Products) Art Conklin If you love the Creamery's cheese and yogurt, you have Art to thank! He prepares and packages product in addition to helping with the short courses.
- Financial Assistant Naomi Minarchick Naomi is our numbers specialist! She works hard to keep our customers and vendors satisfied.
- Financial Assistant Heather Nowlin Heather's adding it up each day to ensure that our daily financial operations run smoothly.
- Special Relief Utility Operator Todd Gantt Packaging, inventory, maintenance, operation, production ... you name it, Todd has a hand in it!
- Senior Salesroom Attendant Susan Watson The Creamery salesroom is at its absolute friendliest with Susan managing part timers and providing customer service!
- Senior Salesroom Attendant Veronica Brown Veronica is a pro at providing top-rate customer service and supervising our part-time employees on the sales floor.
- Quality Assurance Laboratory Specialist Michelle Orner Michelle ensures that Creamery products are safe and delicious and sends reports to the Department of Agriculture.
- Dairy Products Processor (Milk Pasteurization) Nick Grove Nick tests incoming milk and oversees the pasteurization to packaging process for milk, juices, and more.
- Dairy Products Processor (Ice Cream) Terry Grove Terry is responsible for producing our legendary ice cream, and ergo your tears of joy.
- Dairy Products Processor (Milk Pasteurization) Bill Kurtz You know what's pretty amazing? Delicious and safe dairy products. Go, Bill!
- Delivery Driver Lydia McNelis Vroom, vroom! Lydia is bringing deliciousness your way as our esteemed delivery driver to the Penn Stater, Nittany Lion Inn, and BJC.
- Lead Dairy Products Processor Bob Rosenberry In our industry, being in charge of processing, manufacturing, and packaging ice cream is kind of a big deal! Great job, Bob!
- Special Relief Utility Operator Tom Smith Behind the scenes, Tom is keeping track of milk production and packaging, equipment upkeep, and even dairy experimentation.
- Special Relief Utility Operator Ken Fultz Ken makes sure that Creamery products stay safe and delicious as they make their way from the manufacturing areas to the coolers.
- Special Relief Utility Operator Susan Valimont Susan works behind the scenes to help us create and package great dairy products.
- Creamery Stock Assistant Jim Evans Jim is responsible for pulling and filling requisition invoices, while monitoring code dates on all products.
- Special Relief Utility Operator Mark Walters Mark helps to make and deliver all of the Creamery's amazing dairy products.
- Dairy Products Processor (Milk Pasteurization) Denny Yoder If you've enjoyed our pasteurized milk, yogurt, cheeses, and other products, you're familiar with Denny's work.
- Special Relief Utility Operator Jeff Zook Jeff is our go-to guy for everything from equipment operation to deliveries, research, experimentation, and the Ice Cream Short Course.
- Maintenance Mechanic (Dairy Plant) David Long David makes sure our equipment and facilities are running smoothly and safely at all times.
We are store managers, dairy scientists, product specialists, retail associates, equipment operators, administrative and finance specialists, and more.Contact Us
hall of Fame Flavors
We make over 100 ice cream flavors, 10 frozen yogurts, and 6 sherbets. At any given time, you can find more than 20 flavors being served in bowls, cones, and half gallons at our on-campus store.Check Out More Flavors
We hand-dip about 750,000 cones and bowls of ice cream each year in the Creamery store.
We make over 700 milkshakes every day.
When making 100 pounds of cheddar cheese, you need 1,100 pounds of milk.
Thank you for your continued loyalty to Penn State and the Berkey Creamery. Your patronage makes it possible for us to continue to support the Food Science Department, the College of Agricultural Sciences, and the University.
One of the Creamery’s flavors was temporarily renamed “Obama White House” to honor the President’s visit.
The cast impressed Penn Staters with in-store entertainment while in town for a performance at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Cirque du Soleil
Gordon visited Penn State as part of a partnership with Axalta Coating Systems and just had to try some ice cream!
Only President Bill Clinton has ever been allowed to mix flavors. He chose Peachy Paterno and Cherry Quist.
Stewart was so impressed with the Creamery that she featured a tour of the facility of her “Field Trip” segment.