About Dairy Farm Road
Dairy Farm Road was named after one of the earliest dairy farms to be established in the area and the entire Singapore. The farm was founded in the 1930s by Fred Heron, the then Managing Director of Cold Storage, formerly Singapore Cold Storage Company. He started what would become the first tropical dairy farm situated at the foothills of Bukit Timah.
The farm was initially named the Singapore Dairy Farm. The main goal of establishing the farm was to offer fresh pasteurised milk to the expatriate families. To achieve this, the milk produced from the farm was processed and packaged in cartons with shaped like a pyramid then sold under the famous brand name,” Magnolia.”
Later, the company introduced better methods and employed new technology use in milking, drainage, cleaning and refrigerator systems. The result of this was the production of high-quality fresh milk suitable for local consumption.
Reared on the farm were cows that thrive well in cold countries. Frisians being the breed that copes well with the temperate region became the dominant breed in this farm that would become the first dairy farm in the world to successfully rear Friesians in the equatorial region. Over the years, the number of cows kept on the farm increased to over 800 cows.
This breed thrives better in the temperate regions as the hot temperatures in tropical areas can interfere with their feed intake and fertility that often results in poor nutrition and high mortality levels.
The success enjoyed by this farm in rearing Frisian cows attracted national attention. Farming experts and foreign scientists started flocking the area to carry out studies. It was the only European dairy farm next to Bukit Timah Hill. Its manager was a European and most of the workers Indians. It’s due to the popularity of this farm that draws inspirations into naming the nature park and road beside it after the farm.
The operations of the farm came to an end in the 1970s following its closure. No enough information explains what led to the shutdown of the Singapore Dairy Farm.
Today, the closest sign of the existence of a dairy farm in this area is a cow shed that houses a field study hub for schools, Wallace Education Centre. The school was named after Alfred Wallace, an evolution naturalist who studies Singapore biodiversity on the 1850s.
The cowshed is in the form of a symmetrical building that has a strong rhythmic façade with doors along the entire front elevation. It is known to be one of a kind across Singapore. The other building is the farmhouse that features a modest, black and white timber single storey building that is raised above the ground using masonry piers.
To preserve the memories of this dairy farm, the former farmhouse and cowshed were elevated to conservation status on 6th April 2010.
While the estate near Upper Bukit Timah Road is still known as Dairy Farm, there is no farm existing in the area. The area is now occupied by a quarry and a nature park.