Beef Teaching Farm

Beef Teaching Farm

Connect with the Beef Teaching Farm 

Marshall Ruble petting cow

The Beef Teaching Farm strives for excellence in cattle production and hands-on teaching. The herd has both spring and fall calving programs. Purebred calves are born in the spring - primarily March and April. Angus and Simmental breeds comprise the purebred herds.

Angus Breeding Goals:

1. Maximum performance with acceptable birth weights
2. Productive functional cattle that are structurally sound
3. Adequate frame size
4. Genetic predictability

Simmental Breeding Goals: 

1. Maximum performance with moderate birth weights
2. Ability to function in a rotational crossbreeding system
3. Moderate frame size
4. Genetic predictability

The surplus spring calves and fall born crossbred calves are fed retained ownership at the Ames unit. The cattle are used in 10 undergraduate classes, judging contests, ICA events and competitions, ultrasound training and certification, artificial insemination schools, and other beef promotions and educational training purposes.

The purebred herds allows for a student managed production sale every other year. There is also an annual private treaty bull sale each spring.

The herd is inspected frequently by world-wide visitors and producers - over 1000 annually. One highlight is the 56-acre rotational grazing system that will support 80 cow-calf pairs from May through September with an average weaning weight of over 700 pounds. The calving program has achieved above a 100% live calf crop for the last 30 years with a twinning rate of less than 4%.

The farm is self-sufficient financially and the Department of Animal Science is proud what has been achieved at the Beef Teaching Farm.
~ Marshall Ruble, Herdsman