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K-State Ice Cream Box

K-State ice cream boxKansas State University's beloved dairy produces ice cream sold in these boxes, printed with the Wildcat logo.

You scream. I scream. We all scream for K-State ice cream!

It happens on campuses all over the United States, but in the Sunflower State it happens at Kansas State University, better known as K-State, where the Department of Animal Husbandry produces dairy products on site for sale.

As part of their degree requirements, K-State agriculture science students are required to learn about the dairy industry. Because the best way of learning is by doing, students work at the university's Dairy Farm caring for its herd of Holstein cows. They study how to collect milk and then use that milk to produce a number of dairy products.

K-State's Dairy History

K-State's roots reach back to 1860, when it opened as Bluemont Central College in Manhattan, Kansas. Just three years later, it became the first land-grant school in the United States. The federal government granted land to these institutions of higher education, intending that the land would be developed or sold to finance the universities. As a condition of the grant, these schools were required to focus on the teaching of agriculture as well as science and engineering.

Students began selling butter at K-State in 1901, when the school's Farming Department became the Department of Animal Science. Sales were so strong that by 1923 the department opened an organized dairy outlet, and in 1933 a dedicated dairy barn was erected. Call Hall became the shop's new home in 1964, providing a modern dairy processing unit for teaching, research, and extension activities. The building was named for Leland Everett Call, the university's Dean of Agriculture from 1925 to 1946. Today K-State has one of the largest Animal Science departments in the United States, and the Call Hall Dairy Bar sells milk, butter, cheese, and (of course) ice cream.

Visitors to Call Hall eat ice cream on site by the scoop, or take it home in half-gallon containers such as the one pictured here. Royal purple is K-State's official color, and it appears on the ice cream box in the form of the university's mascot, Willie the Wildcat, holding an ice cream cone. Traditional flavors are always available, but a local favorite is Purple Pride (blueberry).

This ice cream box was collected by the staff of the Kansas Museum of History. An empty box was requested during a visit to the Dairy Bar in 1998, however, the museum staff has rarely missed an opportunity to "eat local" on subsequent visits to Manhattan.

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Entry: K-State Ice Cream Box

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: August 2010

Date Modified: December 2014

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.