For the first time in MSU’s history, the Montana State University-Northern Agricultural Research Center (NARC) is home to 51 Red Angus cattle. The cattle were purchased from MSU Alumni, Bob and Rita Dige. The cattle herd includes 32 cows, nine bred heifers and 10 replacement heifers. Darrin Boss, superintendent of the Northern Agricultural Research Center, stated that the cattle will be beneficial to them for “research on various issues such as heifer development, lifetime productivity, reproduction and profitability, among other economically relevant traits. This type of research will have an impact on Montana cattle ranchers for years to come.”
According to Rachel Endecott, Ph.D., a beef cattle specialist with the Department of Animal Range and Sciences, the focus of the research done with the Red Angus cattle will be fertility, maternal traits and cow longevity. Endecott stated that “the Red Angus breed has been focused on these traits since the mid-1990s and have some of the best and longest recorded data to track these genetics in the world. The research will provide new information that ranchers in Montana and throughout the country can use in their operations to make management decisions, continuing the legacy of production agriculture research at MSU.”
The cattle are located at the Bozeman Agricultural Research and Teaching Farm which is managed by the Department of Animal and Range Sciences in the Department of Agriculture.