Whether this is your first experience of Aggie Ice Cream or your thousandth, you ’ ve probably realized its something special. In fact,you ’ re also experiencing history. The Aggie Ice Cream now being made and enjoyed at Utah State University, traces its ancestry to when a Creamery was built as part what is now called “ Old Main ” -- the original building of the Utah Agricultural College established in 1888 in beautiful Cache Valley. The development and evolution of Aggie Ice Cream occurred because there was a willingness to explore new ideas and apply new concepts.
The Creamery in Old Main
Original creamery established in “Old Main” consisted of a series of rooms “containing the best apparatus for the manufacture of butter and cheese on scientific principles.”
Students could apply in practice the theories learnt in the classroom.
As well as Dairying students, there were also classes for Domestic Arts students (women) with an emphasis on cheeses that could be made in the home.
1888-1918 Utah State University Special Collections and Archives
World War I
During World War I, a great effort in term of faculty and college facilities was put towards support of the war.
Many of the faculty were away and buildings converted for war-time use.
What is now “The Quad” was a drill field, and the Livestock Building on its north side, was used as a barracks building. After the war, it became a convalescent hospital , and then in 1919 it was restored to house the departments related to Animal Industry.
1918-1921 Utah State University Special Collections and Archives
Teaching Students And Sending Them Out Into The World
In 1920, new machinery was purchased for the college creamery so that there could be larger scale manufacture of cheese, butter and ice cream.
In 1921, Gustav Wilster joined the Utah State faculty of dairy husbandry in the school of Agriculture, and the course curricula for the Dairying department was revitalized.
By 1922, students were studying classes in dairy technology, fluid milk processing, ice cream manufacture, dairy engineering, cheese manufacture, buttermaking, inspecting dairy facilities, and dairy product judging.
The high quality of ice cream that today is being made and enjoyed in Utah links back to when Prof. Gustav had the idea of making his Aggie ice cream famous by teaching his skills to students and then sending them out into the world.
Gustav Wilster must be credited with not only the creation of Aggie Ice Cream, but also the birth of the Utah ice cream industry. The achievements of his students and their contributions to ice cream manufacturing far exceeded his visions of success, and led to the founding of such landmark Utah companies as Caspers Ice Cream, Farrs Ice Cream, and Snelgroves Ice Cream.
An army estimated at 2500 people pitched their tents and made themselves at home on the campus of the Utah Agricultural College for the annual Farmer’s Encampment.
Visitors could obtain milk, butter, cheese, and ice cream manufactured at the Creamery. Ice cream flavors included Yum, Pineapple, Raspberry, Chocolate and Vanilla.
An all-you-can drink supply of buttermilk was available free of charge from a large canteen at the entrance to the Animal Industries building (left).
1922 Utah State University Special Collections and Archives
Building a Heritage for Aggie Ice Cream
A. J. Morris who had earned his bachelors degree in 1923 while studying dairying under Prof. Wilster, joined the faculty of Utah State in 1932
Prof. Morris continued the traditions of reaching out beyond the university by conducting annual ice cream short courses for people in the dairy industry.
In 1939, Aggie ice cream flavors that were available included vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, maple nut, peach, red raspberry, black raspberry, apricot, cherry, boysenberry, orange, pineapple, and cantaloupe.
1932-1965 Utah State University Special Collections and Archives
Ice Cream on “The Quad”
Paul B. Larsen joined the Dairy Manufacturing faculty in 1946.
The Aggie Ice Cream store became a landmark on the north side of The Quad and a part of university life for students and faculty
1932-1965 Utah State University Special Collections and Archives Utah Agricultural Experiment Station Collection
Prof. C. Anthon Ernstrom a former Utah State student, joins the faculty and becomes the head of Dairy Manufacturing.
In 1968, Dairy Manufacturing merges with the Food and Nutrition program from the College of Family Life to form the new Nutrition and Food Sciences department.
With Prof. Ernstrom leading the way, it was time to for a new facility to be constructed to meet the research and teaching needs for the food and nutrition programs.
Nutrition and Food Sciences 1965-1975
In 1975 a new dairy processing facility and ice cream parlor is included when the Nutrition and Food Sciences building was constructed at its current location on the east edge of the university campus.
A modern creamery is included in new building to serve as a dairy processing laboratory.
Dairy manufacturing becomes a part of the Food Science curriculum.
Nutrition and Food Sciences 1975
Prof. Rodney Brown joins the faculty in 1979 and leads the dairy foods program when Prof. Ernstrom retires in 1987.
The Aggie Bull becomes our logo as seen our ice cream cartons and aprons worn by students working their way through college by scooping ice cream.
When the ice cream store on the Quad closes, the ice cream parlor in the food science building becomes the prime location for satisfying cravings for Aggie Ice Cream.
Two new professors join the dairy processing program in 1987: Donald McMahon and Paul Savello.
The Traditions Continue 1975-1995
Two former dairy processing professors are honored with the naming of the the department’s facilities on 1200 East as the C. Anthon Ernstrom Nutrition and Food Sciences Building and the Gary H. Richardson Dairy Processing Laboratory. A Utah State alumni initiates the sale of Aggie Ice Cream in South Korea.
Professors Honored 1995-2003
Recognized as a unique feature of Utah State University, Aggie Ice Cream receives a place in the university’s new marketing program.
indulge inspire 2003-Present
The hundred-year tradition of Aggie ice cream being made on the Utah State campus by staff and students of the Food Science program continues today.
Our newly renovated ice cream parlor is still a place where young and old can find escape from their daily cares.
Whether you are fortunate to live in beautiful Cache Valley, or just passing through, a scoop or two of Aggie ice cream will make your day special.
A New Face to an Old Tradition Today
Making Famous Aggie Ice Cream * Cache Valley a high mountain treasure nestled among Utah’s snow-capped Rocky Mountains *Trademark of
Caine Dairy Research and Teaching Center
Located below Mt. Wellsville, at the entrance to the beautiful Cache Valley.
At the forefront of dairy research and teaching.
The source of milk for making Aggie ice cream.
Utah State University’s dairy farm
Cache Valley is Utah’s best dairy farming area. The mountain snow provides water for growing many crops of grass and alfalfa.
Ensuring the milk is Grade A is a high priority at Utah State University’s dairy farm. The milk is then quickly cooled and sent to the University’s dairy processing laboratory. Students checking on some of the dairy farm Holstein cows Housing for new calves at the dairy farm Cows are milked twice each day
Utah State University’s Creamery in the Nutrition and Food Sciences Building Milk is delivered from the dairy to the Creamery on the University’s campus, and the process of making Famous Aggie ice cream begins. The USU Dairy Products Laboratory serves as the Creamery for making ice cream, cheese and yogurt as well as providing modern processing facilities for teaching students and conducting up-to-date research on dairy foods. The Creamery is a state-inspected and licensed Grade A milk processing facility.
Aggie Ice Cream Step 1: Preparing the ice cream mix
Fresh milk, cream, sugar, corn syrups, skim milk powder, vegetable gum stabilizer, emulsifier are mixed together in stainless steel tanks and heated to 60°C.
Cocoa is included if chocolate ice cream is being made.
The mix is pasteurized at 82°C for 15 seconds, homogenized and filled into cooled stainless steel tanks and aged overnight.
Aggie Ice Cream Step 2: Freezing the ice cream mix
Liquid flavors are added to the ice cream mix.
The mix is pumped into a continuous ice cream freezer where it is cooled to –9°C and air is whipped into the mix to yield 90% overrun.
Nuts, fruits, and other condiments (e.g. chocolate chips, cookie pieces) are added to the semi-frozen ice cream and the ice cream is filled into 3-gal buckets.
The packaged ice cream is moved into the hardening freezer where it is quickly cooled down to -26°C to complete the freezing process.
Aggie Ice Cream Step 3: Selling the ice cream
Ice cream direct from the hardening room is too hard to scoop and so the ice cream is first warmed to –15°C.
Then the ice cream is moved to the dipping cabinet as needed and kept at –9°C.
To maintain the best quality, long term storage of ice cream should be as cold as possible (e.g., –26°C).