University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

Beef Cattle Research


Animal Research Center - Beef Unit


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Beef Cattle Research

The beef unit is home to a variety of research activities which will involve a number of disciplines and span the spectrum from basic to applied research. These facilities, provide the opportunity to generate innovative, unbiased research to address beef production and profitability.  Many of the research projects are jointly conducted by research and extension faculty.

Research Programs

The diversity of research programs includes:

  • Identifying relationships between nutrient digestion, gut metabolism, and nutrient absorption:  Drs. David Harmon and Jamie Matthews
  • Understanding molecular controls of digestion and absorption:  Drs. Jamie Matthews and David Harmon
  • Increasing efficiency of utilization of grazed and harvested forages:  Dr. Eric Vanzant
  • Quantitative assessment of the influence of dietary inputs and physiological status on splanchnic and whole body energy dynamics.  Dr. Kyle McLeod
  • Managing reproduction through nutrition:  Drs. Eric Vanzant and Les Anderson
  • Understanding molecular regulation of reproductive function: Dr. Phillip Bridges
  • Systems-based beef production research - impact of management strategies on economics of production and quality of the final product: Drs. Eric Vanzant, Jeff Lehmkuler and Darrh Bullock
  • Understanding and moderating the influence of fescue endophytes on beef cattle performance:  Drs. Eric Vanzant, Kyle McLeod, David Harmon and Jamie Matthews
  • Influence of Age and Nutrient Metabolism in Beef Cows: Drs. James Boling and Jamie Matthews

These programs involve collaborative, team-based efforts from researchers working in a variety of disciplines within the College of Agriculture and comprise one of the most comprehensive beef research programs in existence.