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S’pore was once home to the world’s first successful tropical dairy farm

28 March 2018 Singapore

Somewhere along Upper Bukit Timah Road is an estate called Dairy Farm — which is strange because there aren’t any farms anywhere nearby.Somewhere along Upper Bukit Timah Road is an estate called Dairy Farm — which is strange because there aren’t any farms anywhere nearby.

Somewhere along Upper Bukit Timah Road is an estate called Dairy Farm — which is strange because there aren’t any farms anywhere nearby.

dairy farm

There’s a nature park, a quarry, even a heavy vehicle parking spot, but not a cow in sight.

So where or what is this “Dairy Farm” in this ulu place?

 Story time:

In the 1930s, a man named Fred Heron, the Managing Director of Cold Storage — then called the Singapore Cold Storage Company — started the world’s first tropical dairy farm at the foothills of Bukit Timah.

The goal of the farm was to provide fresh pasteurized milk for the children of expatriates. This farm was called the Singapore Dairy Farm.

The pasteurized milk that the farm produced was sold under a brand you’re most likely to recognize: Magnolia.

And it was packaged in pyramid-shaped cartons like this:

Via Magnolia.Via Magnolia.

The Singapore Dairy Farm was situated inside what is today known as the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Over time, the farm came to be populated by a herd of 800 cows.

Maps via NLB Spatial Discovery.Maps via NLB Spatial Discovery.

Somehow managed to rear cows more used to cold countries

The farm would become the first in the world to have had successfully reared Friesian cows in an equatorial region.

Friesian cows generally thrive better in temperate regions. The hot temperatures in a tropical area can affect their fertility and their feed intake, which usually leads to poorer nutrition and higher mortality.

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