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Arlington Beef Cattle Teaching and Research Center
This center consists of two farmsteads – Beef Nutrition and Beef Grazing. These facilities are located on the Arlington Agricultural Research Station, which is located about 20 miles north of the UW-Madison campus. The purpose of these facilities is to accommodate research, teaching and outreach activities that involve any aspect of beef cattle production. The faculty supervisor for the Center is Dr. Dan Schaefer and its manager is Mr. Steven Arp. An additional staff member is Mr. Dennis Anderson.


Beef Cattle Nutrition
Arlington, WI 53911
Phone: 608-846-5273

Beef grazing facility

Beef Cattle Grazing
Arlington, WI 53911

Beef Nutrition was constructed in 1969. It serves as a site for study of novel feedstuffs, growth-enhancing technologies, and meat quality in the context of confinement finishing of steers or heifers. Research in the past has been conducted with Holstein and beef breed cattle. During 1968-1972, this barn was the site of a beef cattle “type study” conducted by Dr. Val Brungardt. From that project and the associated Hereford Type Conference emerged the beef cattle frame scoring system, now commonly practiced in the beef cattle industry. In 1988, this was the site of the research project that revealed that dietary vitamin E could be fed to finishing cattle for the purpose of extending the color display-life of fresh beef cuts.

One barn has 24 group (6 hd/pen) pens and 48 individual animal pens. A second barn has 6 group (8 hd/pen) pens.

Beef Cattle Grazing was built in 1963. This site, formerly known at Beef Physiology, was the location of the well-known twin study conducted by Dr. Edward Hauser, who studied genotype x environment interactions with sets of identical twin beef calves. In 1982, Dr. Hauser and his students recognized that age at puberty in heifers is affected by photoperiod. Heifers coming to puberty during increasing photoperiod will achieve puberty at an earlier age than heifers coming to puberty during decreasing photoperiod.

Beef Cattle Grazing is the site for research being conducted by Dr. Brian Kirkpatrick on the genetics of multiple ovulation and twinning, using a gene obtained from a New Zealand bull. The gene of interest has been mapped using offspring and grandoffspring of this bull produced and/or evaluated at the Beef Grazing unit. Dr. Kirkpatrick maintains a cow-calf herd for the purpose of studying physiology of the gene and additional genotypes that are associated with the maintenance of pregnancy. In addition, Dr. Dan Schaefer conducts research to evaluate pasture forage species with regard to their biomass and animal productivity. Stocker steers are used for these evaluations. This farm consists of 12 research pastures as well as three barns and confinement lots.

beef steers

beef stocker steers on pasture

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