Oklahoma State Builds Beefmaster Research Herd

by Joe Mask | Published March 9, 2020


BOERNE, TEXAS – Oklahoma State University (OSU) Department of Animal and Food Sciences in Stillwater, Oklahoma is initiating a new research cow herd and they are using Beefmaster genetics as their crossbreeding tool. The research effort, led by Dr. Ryan Reuter, will focus on precision ranching for improved long-term sustainability of ranches in Oklahoma and the Southern Plains.

“Our research will focus on incorporating cutting-edge technology such as automated supplementation equipment, on-animal sensors to monitor behavior and stress, and virtual fencing. This technology will allow real-time decision making and better implementation of best management practices. We need a base herd of approximately 70 cows to conduct this research effectively and sustain our research into the future,” said Reuter, Beef Range Nutrition Associate Professor.

OSU is in the process of building a commercial cow herd to facilitate this exciting research. They currently have cows of predominately Angus breeding and will incorporate Beefmaster genetics into their crossbreeding program.

“We hope that alumni and stakeholders who have an interest in both OSU Animal and Food Sciences, as well as Beefmaster genetics, will be excited about contributing to this effort. To that end, we are seeking donations of Beefmaster breeding females,” said Reuter.

OSU is currently seeking quality, problem-free, moderate framed Beefmaster influenced females of any age that are either purebred Beefmaster or Beefmaster x Red Angus breeding that can be delivered to Stillwater between March – May 2020. Donors would be eligible for a tax deduction for the value of the donated animal.

This is a tremendous opportunity for the Beefmaster breed to become a part of a leading agricultural university’s quest to build a premier Beefmaster herd. In addition to their use in the OSU research program, this herd will be used to teach students about ranch and grazing management, precision technology, and will be the subject of numerous tours and field days in the future.

Reuter says, “we think Beefmaster genetics can be an important component to achieving long-term sustainability and we look forward to the impact this research could have.”

To serve as background to this project; Beefmaster breeder Joe Kreger, an OSU alumnus and managing partner of Kreger Ranch, began a dialogue with department head Dr. Clint Rusk, a few years ago with the concept of including Beefmaster genetics in beef cow research at OSU. Joe Kreger, along with Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU) Executive Vice President Collin Osbourn and BBU President Bob Siddons, toured the OSU ranch near Stillwater with Dr. Reuter and in that meeting a general concept was developed to include Beefmaster genetics in Dr. Reuter’s range nutrition research. The goal of this partnership is to create cutting edge grazing research involving Beefmaster genetics, as well as many other levels of advanced beef cattle production educational content. Joe Kreger, Wes Hood and Bruce Robbins are leading efforts to assist BBU and OSU in sourcing this cow herd.

For more information about this project please contact the BBU staff members at 210-732-3132 if you have questions about making cattle donations or getting involved in the OSU Beefmaster research herd. Producers are also welcomed to personally contact Hood, Robbins or Kreger with their questions and donations.

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