From Issue  Winter 2021

South Farm Beef Unit

By: Karen Brasher

South Farm Beef Unit

Beef Unit: (L to R) Bryan Carter, William White, Garrett Lofton (student), Sarah Montgomery, Ashley Heron (student). (Photo by Karen Brasher)

The MAFES H. H. Leveck Animal Research Center, known as South Farm, includes 1,100 acres of grazing land and houses the Beef Unit, Poultry Unit, Equine Unit, Aquaculture Unit, and Facilities Unit. Caring for livestock is a daily job, 365 days a year. The dedicated personnel at these units care and feed for the animals, while also facilitating the research and teaching programs. The farm and its livestock provide an ample training ground for students in all majors, particularly those in the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences, Department of Poultry Science, and the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Some 240 cows call South Farm home. Three full-time staff, four student interns, and four student workers, feed and check the cattle daily. Calving season is always busy as they check and tag new calves. William White, facilities coordinator, has managed the unit for 12 years. White, an animal and dairy sciences alumnus, coordinates all of the research on the farm, in addition to providing the crew with direction on projects. Sarah Montgomery, an assistant herdsman, is pursuing a Ph.D. while working full-time for the unit. The Youngstown, Ohio native earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Tennessee-Martin in ag science production and a masterís in agronomy from MSUís Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. Bryan Carter, assistant herdsman and masterís student, hails from Pendleton, Oregon. He earned his undergraduate from Oregon State University in animal and dairy sciences. In addition to cattle, the unit also cares for goats, sheep, pigs, and rabbits.