Our history

By the beginning of the 20th century Russia didn’t have enough qualified experts in the dairy sector. The Russian government had to employ foreigners - the Swedes, the Danes, the Germans, the people who should learn Russian first. While arranging that kind of schools it was necessary to organize well-formed practical works without which the preparation was inconceivable.

N.V. Vereshchagin

As an example, there was a school of Nikolay Vereshchagin in Edimonovo village of Tverskaya province from which 1200 specialists graduated. In this school people gathered those who in practice understood the necessity of establishing the high school for this sector of the national economy and started discussing it. Avetis Kalantar helped Vereshchagin with the issue seriously. He was Vereshchagin’s colleague and follower, a graduate of Petrovsko-Razumovskay agricultural academy (today, Timiryazev academy). During 20 years together they suggested consideration of the question about the establishment of the first dairy farming higher educational institution in Russia by speaking out at dairy farming conferences. But the government rejected their offers thinking of them to be premature. Many new problems appeared, such as storage of the products and development of refrigeration engineering, transportation and dairy products implementation. Constant troubles about the debts and bank-bills prevented Nikolay Vereshchagin from working with full efforts of his giant energy and drove him to complete despair over the last years. The great initiator of dairy science in Russia, having pledged his estate in 1896, little by little withdrew from business.  On March the 13th 1907 Nikolay Vasilievich died in Petrovka surrounded by his family care.

Avetis Kalantar and his colleagues, also Vereshchagin’s students and colleagues from Edimonovskay school continued to implement his ideas into life, one of them was about arranging the dairy science higher education in Russia. Having worked according to the contract in Vereshchagin school till November the 1st, 1871, Ida and Friedrich Buhmann moved to Vologda province. They rented a former Swiss cheese factory from landladies Polivanov sisters in Marfino estate (12 versts (about 13 km) from Vologda).

Buhmanns became one of the largest dairy producers: having four factories in rent they produced butter for 18800 rubles that made more than sixth of the whole cheese and butter production in Vologda district.

Paying a tribute to the memory of N.V. Vereshchagin, in a year after his death in 1908 at the third conference of dairy owners in Yaroslavl, Avetis Kalantar, who was the chairman of the conference, achieved the positive decision about the establishment of dairy science high educational institution in the country.  After that there were a lot of troubles with the project, its approval by higher authority, the choice of the place for construction and etc.

Avetis Kalantar suggested the commission to see Buhmanns’ exemplary enterprise which by that time expanded in connection with the attainment of Fominskoe village and was famous for its wonderful dairy products. One of the reasons for choosing this place to build an institute was the railway which was in 3 km from the enterprise.
With the purpose of scientific support of dairy farming enterprise and dairy breeding, theoretic and practical training of educated workers in that sector the Emperor of Russia Nikolay II signed the law of the establishment of Vologda dairy farming institute on June the 3rd 1911.

Buhmanns family’s estate was bought from the aged owners. Later at its place the experimental dairy plant appeared, which also bears the name of N.V. Vereshchagin and it is the main practical base for students of the academy.

Department of agriculture and Governorate district councils gave credits for construction and a building commission was organized. The commission included representatives of local councils and community-based organizations, dairy businessmen and also representatives of the Head Department of Agriculture and land planning and State Supervision. The construction of Vologda dairy farming institute began in 1912 and continued till 1917. The construction of the Institute, in particular, was the reason for appearance of residential area which was called Molochnoe (“dairy”) and in 1948 it was introduced as a workers settlement in the statistical compendium of the region.

In 1912 the establishment of a dairy farming experimental station in Vologda was started which in July, 1913 proceeded to systematic research work.  Since October, 1913 a primary school of dairy enterprise of the first rank began to work. In 1916 an experimental butter making factory which had been specially built joining the main building of the institute was put into operation.

Since 1919 the establishment started working as a higher educational and scientific-experimental institution, five experimental stations were engaged in research: biochemical, bacteriological, technology of milk processing, test of dairy machines, zootechnical.

The main building of the Academy

In 1930 the Institute was reorganized: technological faculty for production engineers in dairy industry and zootechnical faculty were opened. In the autumn of 1931 the third faculty – the faculty of food economy was opened, which was renamed into agronomical faculty very soon, it existed till 1947 and was reestablished in 1961. In 1934 the higher education institution was renamed into Vologda agricultural institute. In 1936 a veterinary faculty was organized which was transferred to Kirov city (Vyatka).

During the Great Patriotic War the Institute continued to educate specialists in agriculture. Besides, a military station of general education was organized, where snipers, mortarmen, machinegunners, sanitary activists were trained.  An army hospital was placed in the Institute building.

After the war the name of the Institute was changed to Vologda dairy institute (VDI). With the growing necessity of collective and state farms in 1950 a faculty of mechanization of agricultural industry was organized. In the same year an extension department was opened, later it was transformed into an extension faculty with three departments.  In order to extend the research and industrial basis of the institute and to strengthen the connection between theoretical education and industrial work in 1957 the state regional agricultural and veterinary experimental stations were joined to the Institute.

In 1958 a large bred livestock farm “Molochnoe” and a dairy plant was transferred to the Institute, where first and second years students working in industries received the necessary practical skills. In 1961 the technological training college was affiliated to the Institute as a faculty. In 1970 a new faculty – faculty of economics appeared, in 1977 a veterinary faculty was reopened. In June, the 23rd, 1995 the Institute was given a status of academy by the order of the Ministry of Agriculture of RF, in that very year in August, the 31st an act by the head of Vologda region administration was issued “About giving the name of N.V. Vereshchagin to Vologda state dairy farming academy”.

During the whole historical period of development the academy has progressed as a complex higher educational institution and influenced all the sectors of agricultural and dairy industries not only in the North-West of Russia but in general in the country  as it was the first and the only one higher educational institution of such a specialization.  The full variety of scientific discipline in different areas went out of the Vologda SDFA, where the formation and organization of the whole scientific ideas in the dairy industrial sector. The academy continues the way of scientific and educational development at the present time.