Field Trips and Tours

We always welcome visitors to the Marc P. Bates Observation Room to see our cheesemakers in action as they make Cougar Cheese and Ferdinand’s Ice Cream. While enjoying a snack from Ferdinand’s, relax in a comfortable chair to watch special videos that show the entire process of cheese and ice cream production at the WSU Creamery.

Self-Guided Tour

The observation room is open to the public during business hours (9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) unless there is a field trip or hosted visit. If you would like to make sure the observation room is open to the public on the day you visit, you can call ahead!

The best time to view cheese production is Monday – Thursday, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (days and times subject to change). To find out when we’ll be making ice cream, please call Ferdinand’s at 509-335-2141.

Video presentations on cheese and ice cream production are available:

  • “The Making of Cougar Gold®”: An interesting 10 minute video of the Creamery’s cheesemaking process.
  • “Ferdinand’s Ice Cream”: A fun five-minute video that shows Ferdinand’s Ice Cream being made.

Hosted Visit

The observation room can be reserved for groups of 12 or more people.

Please call Ferdinand’s at 509-335-2141 or email to reserve a specific day and time.

Activities for a Hosted Visit

  • A pictureboard story about cheese making is presented to young visitors who may not be interested in the more factual video.
  • “The Story of Ferdinand”, a delightful children’s storybook, is read aloud to our young visitors upon request.
  • Ice cream cones may be purchased at a discount and served in the Observation Room. The cones must be ordered in advance and paid for in one transaction.
  • If you want to purchase ice cream for your group tour, you can find our group order form below.

Field Trips

With advance notice, the Creamery provides instructed field trips.

Purchasing cheese from the WSU Creamery helps support student employees of Washington State University by providing competitive wages and valuable work experiences. A portion of the revenue from the sale of WSU Creamery products is used for educational support of Food Science students.