The U.S. Naval Academy is getting out of the business of milking cows.
The school said Monday that it will shut down its dairy farm, sell the cows and begin buying milk from a dairy in Frederick.A survey earlier this year found milk from the 865-acre farm in Gambrills cost $2.30 a gallon, while commercial milk cost $2.05 a gallon. The school's 4,000 midshipmen consume about 1,100 gallons of milk daily, and at 25 cents extra per gallon, the academy was spending an extra $275 per day to produce its own milk.
The academy will sell the 140 cows but keep the land. About 15 employees will lose their jobs.
The farm was created to provide safe milk to midshipmen after a 1911 typhoid outbreak.
In 1995, Vice President Al Gore complained that "90 years later, even though there hasn't been any typhoid from milk in many decades, it's still going on."
A 1967 law had prevented the Navy from getting rid of the farm. Congress lifted the ban last December.