The SDSU Cow-Calf Education and Research Facility (CCERF) plays a key role in serving the needs of SDSU students and state beef cattle producers across the Upper Midwest. Students enrolled in numerous courses in the Department of Animal Science and across the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in beef cattle production at the facility. Furthermore, students with an interest in seedstock merchandising are able to gain firsthand experience with the promotion and sale of Angus and SimAngus cattle, as the class is responsible for the production of the annual SDSU Bull Sale held each spring.
The CCERF calves approximately 130 Angus and SimAngus females annually. In addition to courses, cattle from the CCERF are also used for the SDSU Little International, various 4-H and FFA activities, and Extension field days. Cattle produced at the CCERF are also integral to the research conducted by SDSU faculty and students, both graduate and undergraduate. Research conducted at the CCERF is focused on addressing production issues faced by beef producers across the region. Recent research activities have been largely focused on nutrition and reproduction. However, the research infrastructure of the new CCERF far exceeds those of the former facility thereby allowing researchers to greatly expand the types of research they are able to conduct. The new facility is equipped with 48 state-of-the-art Insentec individual feeding units and eight, individually plumbed, Insentec watering units that allow for the application of different dietary or water-borne treatments to cattle and recording of feed and water consumption on an individual basis. The facility is also surrounded by twelve, 10-acre pastures, 6 of which have been planted to cool-season forages and 6 that have been planted to warm-season forages. Calving is accomplished small pastures that utilize the Sandhills Calving System model to prevent disease transmission. This new facility strengthens SDSU’s rank among the top universities in beef cattle teaching and research.