This popular campus dairy bar has a long history. Here’s the scoop

Strawberry, vanilla and chocolate Call Hall ice cream was offered at the Ice Cream Social in City Park on July 7, 2015. Last year, Call Hall made 16,000 gallons of ice cream to sell to K-Staters. (Archive photo by George Walker | Collegian Media Group)

Dairy Queen and Baskin Robbins may be the top tier ice cream at other campuses across the state, but ask any K-Stater what their favorite is and you’re likely to hear the same response from them all: Call Hall.

Call Hall has been a fixture of the Kansas State campus since 1964, but the history of students learning about dairy science through food production dates back to 1883 with cheese and butter.

In 2017, Call Hall produced 16,000 gallons of ice cream and 75,000 gallons of raw milk, John Kessler, food service manager at the Call Hall Dairy Bar, said.

“Our dairy operations consist of 225 head of Holstein dairy cows that are milked three times a day,” Jared Parsons, manager at the dairy plant, said.

Parsons said the raw milk produced from these cows will be turned into skim, two percent and whole milk to meet demand from customers. The byproduct from the milk production is the cream that will become the ice cream.

The cream is mixed with flavorings to produce the two base flavors — vanilla and chocolate. From there, additional flavorings will be added along with other ingredients to produce the 52 different flavors the Dairy Bar sells.

“Not all of those flavors are produced regularly, as some are trial runs or introduction of new flavors, or seasonal offerings that are only produced a couple months out of each year,” Kessler said via email.

This daunting task is completed by both full time employees as well as students within the program.

With sales at the Call Hall Dairy Bar, the K-State Student Union, Housing and Dining Services and to the community in general, K-State’s dairy consumption has led to growth of the department.

Of all of its selling locations, Kessler said the original dairy bar is still the top location on campus, but the union location could potentially match sales in the future.

Kessler said in-store sales are not the only demand the Dairy Bar has. At each of the seven home football games this year, Call Hall will serve roughly 2,000 cups of ice cream to Wildcat fans.