RUPERT, Idaho (KLIX)-Construction of the largest research dairy in the United States got underway with a groundbreaking on Thursday near Rupert. According to the University of Idaho, the $22.5 million Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (Idaho CAFE) will operate as a full size dairy with around 2,000 cows on 640 acres. The Idaho CAFE will operate between three counties with the dairy in Minidoka County, an education and outreach center in Jerome County, and collaborative food science programs with the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls County. "Idaho CAFE will conduct research and deliver education to support a sustainable future for Idaho’s dairies, livestock operations, crop production and food processing industries. The center will link research, education and outreach in a public-private partnership to support the state of Idaho, generate jobs and support economic progress," according to the U of I in a statement released in May. The Idaho CAFE has received support from a number of sources including the food manufacturer Chobani which committed $1 million earlier this year to help with construction of the facility. Construction of the first phase of the dairy is expected to be complete in 2023.

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