This article examines the late nineteenth-century process whereby elite British dairy companies used the tools and the rhetoric of scientific management to gain market hegemony, marginalizing small and often rural dairy farmers. This was in the context of increased parliamentary demands for the regulation of the milk industry, fueled by fears of milk-borne disease and the nutritional quality of cow's milk. Whereas historians have assumed that dairy farmers were resistant to central oversight, elite and self-labeled progressive companies such as the Aylesbury Dairy Company in London used agricultural science to become drivers in agricultural reform. While that change was not without significant pushback from small-scale dairy farmers, the most pressing problem was that a wide variety of scientific experts vied for agricultural expertise on cow's milk, including veterinarians, medical officers of health, chemists, and bacteriologists. These burgeoning professions competed and jostled for authority even as they were being used by elite companies to reorganize the British dairy industry.

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