The beef center helps to meet the teaching, research and outreach needs of the university as they relate to beef cattle. Classes give students hands-on experience in cattle breeding, feeding and nutrition, handling, vaccinations, branding, calving, cattle marketing and other areas.
The Charolais herd is used in animal evaluation classes, judging clinics and FFA and 4-H livestock contests and is showcased by the university’s Block and Bridle club at fairs and shows around the region. The center’s bulls and heifers are marketed to ranches throughout the Northwest.
The beef center consists of roughly 200 acres, 120 acres of which are in pasture and other farm ground and divided into paddocks 10–30 acres in size. Pastures and fields are used for grazing the cow herd and for research and provide much of the hay utilized by the center during the winter months.
The center has a purebred Charolais herd, a feeding facility with space for 60–80 steers and assorted other facilities. The beef center’s signature barns have been a part of the Moscow skyline since 1919 and are still used for research projects and to house the cow herd during the calving season in February and March.
- Monson barn has space for 60 head and is fitted with Calan® gates allowing for the measurement of individual animal intakes.
- Historical barns provide housing for research animals with pens that allow for multiple configurations of group size.
- Ten drylot pens, each with a shelter and bunk space for roughly 20 animals held communally. An additional three pens allow for the same number of stock but lack feed bunks. A handling facility is located central to these pens.
- Two isolation barns with 16 pens between them allowing for complete isolation and quarantine of animals under sensitive research. One, the E. coli research barn, has a capacity of about 36 head.
- Surgery facility of about 700 square feet suitable for small procedures on livestock animals.
- Residence for farm manager.
- Several other small pens and shelters.
The U of I Beef Center is located on Sixth Street, at the western end of the University of Idaho campus in Moscow.