Beef Cattle Programs

Academic Programs

Beef Production Agricultural Technology Certificate
The two-year Beef Production Agricultural Technology Certificate program is designed to allow women and men the opportunity for specialization in beef cattle management. Students in the beef management program have the opportunity to get hands-on training at the nationally known MSU purebred herds. Students also study at the MSU Beef Cattle Teaching & Research Center where new and innovative research and extension programs are conducted.

Bachelors of Science Degree
Within the Animal Science major, students can select a concentration in either animal industry, animal biology and pre-veterinary medicine, companion and exotic animal biology, or production animal scholars. Students have the opportunity to specialize in beef through course work, directed studies and undergraduate research projects.  For curriculum information review the undergraduate handbook.

Graduate Studies

Opportunities exist for graduate education in the area of beef science, though openings are limited. Besides taking graduate level courses, graduate students conduct their own research and are encouraged to become involved with teaching and extension activities.

Student Clubs & Teams
Students pursuing academics in beef production may also be interested in the student clubs and teams available to Animal Science students. Of particular interest to many are the Block & Bridle Club and the MSU Rodeo Club. Block & Bridle provides social activities, as well as coordination of several livestock events throughout the year. The MSU Rodeo Club annually hosts the Spartan Stampede Rodeo and has a competing rodeo team.

Many students involved in beef production take advantage of the opportunities to become members of the livestock and(or) meats judging teams. Not only do students refine their skills in selection and marketing, they develop communication and reasoning skills that are sought after by employers.


The beef research program is focused on three primary areas—ruminant nutrition, beef cattle genetics, and meat science. Research on both applied and basic aspects of beef cattle production is conducted on campus, and at the outlying Lake City Experiment Station and Upper Peninsula Experiment Station.

Extension & Outreach

Adult Extension
The MSU Beef Team provides scientific-based information on production management, health, and beef products to the Michigan beef industry through local, state-wide, and regional programs and publications. Extension programs are conducted by campus faculty and Beef Area of Expertise agents throughout the state.

Youth Extension
The youth extension program coordinates state-level 4-H and youth livestock activities. Educational programs and opportunities exist for youth audiences in the areas of management, feeding, breeding, training and marketing of beef, sheep and swine.

Beef Facilities
MSU Beef Teaching, Research, and Extension are accomplished using four beef units. On campus, the Purebred Beef Cow/Calf Teaching and Research Center provides students with work experience in breeding, feeding, management and merchandizing of quality beef cattle. Also on campus, the Beef Cattle Teaching and Research Center is utilized in conducting basic and applied beef cattle research as well as providing learning opportunities in feedlot management. The Lake City Experiment Station maintains facilities for beef cow-calf and stocker research and Extension activities, especially as they relate to Michigan forages. The Upper Peninsula Agricultural Experiment Station maintains a commercial beef cow herd used in applied research and Extension programming in Michigan’s unique U.P. environment.

Fund Raising
To honor the Animal Science department’s centennial milestone, the Michigan Cattlemen’s Association is establishing an endowed fund to support ongoing excellence within the MSU beef cattle programs. The Beef Cattle Education Endowment Fund will focus on enhancing support for the excellent educational opportunities afforded to students in the MSU beef cattle program, as well as provide a sustained source of funds for MSU’s beef research and teaching facilities, including the Purebred Beef Cow-Calf Teaching and Research Center, and the Beef Cattle Teaching and Research Center.