Students learn marketable skills, make ice cream at the Dairy Bar

Brittany Westerberg

Brittany Westerberg

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

It’s a phrase we grew up shouting, and it’s no surprise that ice cream is one of the best-loved desserts in America. In fact, the average American eats about 23 liters a year.

SDSU students can rest assured that they are able to indulge their cravings by simply going to the dairy sales bar, located just north of Ag Hall in the Dairy Microbiology building. It is a favorite stop for tourists, prospective students and alumni.

The dairy bar’s ice cream and other dairy products are supplied by SDSU’s very own dairy plant, which is a fully-regulated dairy processing facility. The dairy plant is actually a self-support business. There are no grants that keep it running; it produces enough revenue to pay all of the workers and buy all of the necessary materials.

More importantly, Howard Bonnemann, the dairy plant manager, says, “The dairy bar is a teaching lab.” It allows dairy students to learn what they need to in order to go out into the world upon graduation and dive right into their careers.

The first dairy course offered here at SDSU was in 1890. The dairy major was officially offered in 1899, and the dairy science department was started in 1907. The first counter was established to sell SDSU ice cream in 1927. In 1961, the dairy bar was remodeled into the dairy bar students know today.

The dairy bar has a multitude of flavors a person can choose from. They have the basic flavors-vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry-along with staples like rocky road, coffee and grasshopper fudge.

The popular flavor of ice cream known to the world as cookies and cream was actually invented here at SDSU during 1970s. It was called Oreo back then because that’s what was used to make it. For an entire list of flavors, go to the dairy science department’s Web site at

You can go to the dairy bar and buy an ice cream cone or a dish, or you can get many other items like milk-shakes. The dairy bar is also a small convenience store, with gum, candy and drinks. Some students buy plastic buckets full of ice cream, in either the half-gallon or three-gallon size. It’s a great way to finish off those flex dollars, although placing large orders in advance is recommended.

Besides ice cream, the dairy bar sells SDSU cheese and provides milk for Medary Commons, Larson Commons and The Market in The Union.

For those who would prefer something hot during cold spells like this one, the dairy bar also sells coffee, hot chocolate and tea.