Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Summer Treats: Howling Cow

Posted August 15, 2013

My first taste of Howling Cow ice cream was at the N.C. State Fair many years ago. I was there for work as part of my previous job and didn't have time to sit down for a meal. When I saw the giant cones of ice cream that people were walking around with, I got in line and ordered myself a mint chocolate chip cone for lunch.

It was some of the creamiest, yummiest ice cream I'd had in a long time. Seating inside The Creamery at D.H. Hill Library

Soon, I learned that Howling Cow is made at N.C. State as part of a program of the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Science’s Feldmeier Dairy Processing Lab in Schaub Hall. The ice cream is made with fresh cream and milk from the university's Raleigh farm. They've been doing this since 1968.

"Our mission is to support teaching research and extension activities," Carl Hollifield, assistant director for business operations for the dairy enterprise system, tells me.

And I've made it my mission to support that mission by buying the ice cream as much as I can. Since that first taste at the State Fair, it's my annual purchase when I'm over there. And we enjoy it each spring at Farm Animals DaysHowling Cow Creamery at N.C. State

But we've also ventured on campus, buying pints and the occasional ice cream cone. It certainly sweetened the day one day when, for the first time, we met a former and beloved babysitter, then an N.C. State student, over ice cream on campus.

Right now, N.C. State is working to make the ice cream even more accessible to the public with plans to build an ice cream store on campus. Right now, officials are in the private phase of a fundraising campaign, Hollifield said. Plans call for a full-service ice cream shop with seating for more than 100 downstairs and a training center upstairs where the focus will be on food product development.

In the plans also is an exciting new venture for families. Officials are working on a new heritage museum at N.C. State's farm off Lake Wheeler Road just south of Raleigh for children. They'll also sell ice cream there. Hollifield hopes the museum will open early next year.

Right now, N.C. State staff and students are Howling Cow's main regular customers. You can buy cones and cups in the Talley Student Center. Howling Cow ice cream

Cups, cones, sundaes and milkshakes also are available in the Creamery Shop at D.H. Hill Library, where we got our cones the other week. There, you'll also find a fun collection of chairs in library that my kids loved trying out after our cones (quietly, of course). There's also a window just off Hillsborough Street in the library building where you can buy your cone or treat outside.

Packaged pints are available at several residents halls. Howling Cow ice cream

Hours vary depending on the time of year. But they ramp them back up as the school year begins and students are back on campus.

For all the details, including hours and locations, check Howling Cow's website.

And we'll be back there soon, doing our very best to support that educational mission. Howling Cow ice cream

This is the latest in our Summer Treats series. For more Summer Treats posts, click here. We'll wrap it all up next week. 


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  • shall6 Aug 19, 2013

    My apologies ... I had pulled the information about Talley from Howling Cow's website. According to N.C. State's website, the Talley Food Court, including a Howling Cow ice cream counter, will reopen this fall starting as early as September. Details:

    And, yes, an exemption to the Umstead Act allows for the sale of Howling Cow on campus and at the state fair. For what it's worth, I've never had a problem buying it on campus (other than not finding a parking space immediately).


  • Cock a doodle doo Aug 17, 2013

    @ SerenityNow, Sorry for the difficult time, but this story was filled with inaccurate information.

  • Cock a doodle doo Aug 17, 2013

    "You can buy cones and cups in the Talley Student Center"

    FYI - The Talley Student Center is closed for renovations. It won't be re-opened for a considerable amount of time. You can, however, buy the ice cream at the DH Hill and Hunt Libraries. DH Hill has a window open on Hillsborough St just across from Wells Fargo/Manmur Shopping Center.

    "Right now, N.C. State staff and students are Howling Cow's main regular customers. "

    That is because NC State Law prohibits selling this ice cream to the general public (Umstead Act). While they won't prevent you from buying it, technically it is illegal in North Carolina to buy it if you are not a student, staff, or faculty member (or on official business) at NC State. The only time it can be sold to the general public is at the State Agricultural Fair.

    Just a few tidbits I thought I would share ;-)

  • serenitynow Aug 16, 2013

    Thanks a bunch! Butter Almond is my favorite!!

  • shall6 Aug 16, 2013

    I would say the easiest place to buy it is at the library from the outdoor window just off Hillsborough Street. You can park on Hillsborough and walk up to the window. And yes, I have purchased pints from one of the residence halls - the Bragaw residence hall, I believe. I just walked right in. There is a store right at the entrance where you can get it. We parked in the parking deck close to Reynolds, so it was a bit of a walk, but not too bad.


  • serenitynow Aug 16, 2013

    I was at a workshop at the McKimmon Center on Tuesday and we finished up early. Since I was close by, I ventured on campus in pursuit of Howling Cow ice cream. With all the construction, getting to the Talley Center was not an easy task after driving around campus for 15 minutes. I finally gave up after driving in circles with no ice cream. Where is the easiest place to buy ice cream on Campus and you mentioned getting it from the residence halls. But can anyone just walk into the residence halls?