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About the Breeding Program

The objective of the breeding program is to produce structurally sound, functional cattle with the genetic merit to meet the needs of all segments of the beef industry and be in demand by other breeders. Expected progeny differences from National Cattle Evaluations and visual evaluation of economically important traits are used in tandem with pedigree evaluation to select beef cattle to meet this objective.
The OSU breeding program has earned nation-wide acceptance as a source of genetically superior seedstock. Each year, through national sales and the annual Cowboy Classic production sale, which is hosted at the headquarters in April, OSU merchandises seedstock to other registered herds and range bulls to commercial cattlemen from Oklahoma and around the country.

Purebred Beef Herd

The OSU Animal Science purebred beef herd consists of over 300 brood cows representing five breeds.  These include Angus and Hereford, which were the first two breeds established at OSU in the 1920's, as well as Brangus, Limousin and Simmental.  The mature cow herd is maintained at the purebred range facilities, which consist of approximately 2000 acres of native and improved grasses, located northwest of Stillwater near Lake Carl Blackwell.  The headquarters for the Purebred Center, located 3 miles west of Stillwater on State Highway 51, includes the bull testing facilities, show barn, office and sale pavilion.


The primary justification of the OSU Purebred Beef Cattle Center is teaching.  Purebred beef cattle are bred and raised at OSU to furnish students with examples of high performing, modern type cattle which are used extensively in numerous courses taught in the Department of Animal Science as well as in the Colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture and Natural Resources.  The herd provides OSU students as well as 4-H and FFA youth with beef cattle and facilities to prepare them for careers in the beef industry.  Recommended programs for registered herds are applied to serve as a demonstration of profitable, practical management, breeding and feeding of high quality purebred beef cattle.  


The cattle and facilities are not only utilized by more than 700 Animal Science students in various courses, but some students are also employed in part-time jobs at the purebred beef facilities as part of the department's Career Development Program.  The Career Development Program permits 10 - 15 students a year the opportunity for part-time employment at the Purebred Beef Cattle Center.  These student's work hours are scheduled around class work and other activities, typically allowing them to work 10 - 20 hours per week. The purebred beef herd also serves the beef industry through continuing education such as type conferences, producer workshops and field days.  The largest of these events is the Beef Cattle Field Day.  Hosted annually in mid July, it consists of a Beef Cattle Judging contest and other educational activities.  Typical attendance at this event is over 1500 people, most of whom are Oklahoma 4-H and FFA students.


The purebred beef herd, as well as the other Animal Science purebred herds and flocks, is a key part of the Department's recruitment efforts.  As a result of their use in numerous field days, tours, livestock judging contests and other educational events, either hosted or sponsored by OSU, approximately 125 head of OSU purebred cattle are viewed by over 2000 potential OSU students each year.  In addition to this, countless people see OSU purebred cattle on exhibit at state and national shows such as the Tulsa State Fair, American Royal in Kansas City, MO; the North American in Louisville, KY; and the National Western at Denver, CO.  Over the years, OSU has compiled an impressive showing record and this exposure has had a favorable impact on student recruitment.  Many students choose OSU as the place to continue their education specifically because of the reputation for excellence in the purebred teaching herds.  Current enrollment in the Department of Animal Science is the highest ever and has enjoyed several successive years of growth during a time when enrollments in Animal Science and ag-related majors have been decreasing on a national basis.


Mother of Champions: DF Empress #6079

In the 1990's an Angus cow named DF Empress 6079 gained national recognition as a result of producing several sons which would become Grand Champions in the showing.  This cow was the Angus Roll of Victory Embryo Transplant Dam of the Year in 1994.  Her sons include OSU Precision, the Grand Champion bull at the All American Angus Futurity and Reserve Champion at the North American in 1993; OSU Ultra, the Reserve Champion Angus bull at Denver in 1994, before being named Grand Champion at The National Western in 1995; and OSU Panama, the Grand Champion bull at the 1996 All American Angus Futurity and Tulsa State Fair, and the Grand Champion bull at the 1997 Western National Futurity in Reno, Nevada.  Empress was the first female to ever produce all of the "Best Six Head" at the North American in 1993 and all three bulls in the Champion "Pen of Three" at the 1994 National Western Angus show.  In 1997 OSU exhibited the Champion Pen of Three Angus bulls at the National Western, the group included one direct son of 6079, and one grandson.  In OSU's most recent Denver Champion Pen  of Three, exhibited at the 2006 National Western, all three bulls were embryo sibs, produced by a daughter of 6079.  Another grandson of 6079 was the Reserve Grand Champion Angus bull at the 2007 Tulsa State Fair.  The most recent successes of the center include the 2009 Champion Pen of Three Bulls at the National Western and Champion Angus Sale Bull, OSU Orion 8102, at the 2009 NWSS. To this day, some of the most productive, highest income producing females in the OSU purebred herd are 6079 daughters and grand-daughters.

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