Les Anderson, PhD. picture

Les Anderson
Extension Professor

  • landerso@uky.edu
  • (859) 257-2856
  • (859) 257-3412
  • 811 W.P. Garrigus Building
    Lexington KY 40546-0215
  • Department of Animal and Food Sciences
  • Specialties: Physiology

Professional Profile

Extension Professor, Beef Cattle Extension, Reproductive Physiology


University of Missouri - Columbia B.S., 1990

Iowa State University M.S., 1992

The Ohio State University Ph.D., 1996

Additional Information

Position Responsibilities

Statewide extension education in beef cattle with an emphasis on reproductive management. Duties include preparation of educational materials, conducting statewide educational programs, conducting applied research projects, working with agricultural agents, youth agents, other extension specialists, and research personnel, and maintaining a strong working relationship with beef related agribusiness.

Extension Programs

Integrated Resource Management (IRM). Member of the core IRM coordinating committee responsible for integration of IRM concepts into beef cattle production in Kentucky. The IRM concept includes evaluation of beef production and profitability by determining how cattle production is influenced by all factors of the farming operation. Major responsibilities include coordination of Cow College. Cow College is a 9-day producer training session that includes both hands-on training and lectures in all aspects of beef cattle production. Other duties include advanced agent training in reproductive management, review of the IRM beef calendar, and promotion of Kentucky Beef Book.

Allied Production and Management (A.I.M). The A.I.M. program encourages producers to form production and marketing alliances in order to take advantage of economies of size and to increase marketability by cooperative sales.

Kentucky Heifer Development Program. Program designed to assist beef producers by establishing heifer development centers. The centers are responsible for nutritional, health and reproductive management of the heifers. Producers then select their replacement heifers and the remaining are sold in a cooperative sale. Producers also participate in educational programs to become familiar with the development techniques.


Estrus Synchronization and AI. Conducted trials on postpartum beef cows and yearling beef heifers examining many different protocols to synchronize estrus and ovulation suitable for timed inseminations. Although most producers recognize that estrus synchronization and artificial insemination (AI) can greatly improve postpartum rebreeding in cows, less than 5% of beef producers currently use these techniques. The basic tools necessary for AI in beef cattle have existed for many years. A major factor that has prevented the widespread use of AI is the process is not practical for many beef producers. The extensive nature of many cattle operations, lack of adequate facilities and sufficient labor, the distant location of cattle from working facilities during grazing rotations, and related other factors all impede the use of AI. For most beef producers to implement an AI program, it is critical that the synchronization process is limited to a few "trips through the chute" and to a short AI period in which a majority of females become pregnant. To increase the use of estrus synchronization and AI in Kentucky, I have developed an applied research program that is centered on the development of new estrus synchronization protocols that are suitable for fixed-time inseminations. The development of new estrus synchronization systems with improved efficacy is critical to expansion of the use of AI in beef cattle. These research projects have demonstrated the improved production efficiency and increased profitability of reproductive management programs that incorporate estrus synchronization and AI. One study indicated a return on investment of $11.64 per cow using estrus synchronization and AI. Current investigations also include developing estrus synchronization protocols for use in natural mating systems. Extramural grant funding and gift grants totaling $34,650 were obtained to support these projects.

Embryo Survival. Experiments in collaboration with K. K. Schillo were designed to investigate methods to improve embryonic survival in beef females. Previous research indicates that 10-20% of pregnancies are lost during the first three weeks of gestation. Improving embryo survival could improve pregnancy rates and enhance percent calf crop weaned. Increases in percent calf crop weaned are associated with increases in profitability in beef cow-calf operations. Extramural grant funding totaling $35,954 was obtained to support these projects.

Nutrient Type and Fertility. Experiments in collaboration with E. S. Vanzant were designed to examine the effect of type of nutrient (i.e. fiber, fat, starch) on fertility in yearling beef heifers. Considerable research has indicated that fertility may be enhanced in beef females fed specific types of nutrients prior to breeding. Identification of these nutrient types could lead to supplementation strategies to improve fertility and pregnancy rate and therefore profitability.

Endophyte and Fertility. Experiments in collaboration with E. S. Vanzant and W. R. Burris examined the effects of endophyte on fertility in postpartum beef cows. The reduced fertility associated with ingestion of endophyte infected tall fescue has a tremendous impact on beef production and profitability in Kentucky. Investigations into methods to alleviate the effects of endophyte are absolutely vital to beef production in this state and the Southeast region.


Jeff Lehmkuhler, Katie VanValin, Kevin Laurent, Darrh Bullock, Les Anderson, and Darrell Johnson. 2020. ID-263 Alternative Protein Sources for Cattle

Jeff Lehmkuher, Katherine VanValin, Les Anderson, Darrh Bullock, and Kevin Laurent. 2020. ASC-244 Feeding Distillery Stillage to Beef Cattle

Jeff Lehmkuhler, Les Anderson, and Darrh Bullock, Animal and Food Sciences; and Michelle Arnold. 2019. ID-258 Weaning Beef Calves

L.H. Anderson, K.D. Bullock, W.R. Burris, A.P. Foote, D.L. Harmon, V.B. Holder, N.M. Kenney, D.H. Kim, S.E. Kitts, A.F. Koontz, J.W. Lehmkuhler, K.R. McLeod, E.M. Vanzant, G.E. Aiken, K.R. Brown I.A. Kagan J.L. Klotz J.R. Strickland, B.M. Goff L.P. Bush J.R. Bussard W.W. Witt, J.M. Tricarico, J.S. Jennings N.B. Kristensen. 2014. SR-105 2012 Beef Research and Extension Report

Hatler, T.B., S.H. Hayes, L.H. Anderson, and W.J. Silvia. Effect of a single injection of progesterone on ovarian follicular cysts in lactating dairy cows. The Veterinary Journal 172:329-333. 2006.

Howlett, C.M., E.S. Vanzant, L.H. Anderson, W.R. Burris, B.G. Fieser and R.F. Bapst. Effect of supplemental nutrient source on heifer growth and reproductive performance, and on utilization of corn silage-based diets by beef steers. Journal of Animal Science 81:2367-2378. 2003.

L. H. Anderson, K. D. Bullock, W. R. Burris, J. T. Johns. 2002. ASC-164 Protocols for Synchronizing Estrus in Yearling Heifers

L.H. Anderson, Ph.D., and K.D. Bullock, Ph.D. 2000. ASC-142 Pelvic Measurements and Calving Difficulty*


Rhinehart, J.D., E.S. Vanzant, J.D. Bailey, A.M. Arnett, E. Myers, K.K. Schillo and L.H. Anderson. Effects of fat supplementation on reproductive parameters of beef heifers fed endophyte-infected fescue seed. Journal of Animal Science 81(Suppl. 2):92. 2003.

Myers, E., E.S. Vanzant, L.H. Anderson, W.R. Burris, R.B. Hightshoe, J.T. Johns and K.K. Schillo. Effects of fat supplementation on heat-stressed lactating beef cows grazing endophyte-infested fescue. Journal of Animal Science 81(Suppl. 2):105. 2003.

Burris, W.R., L.H. Anderson, J. Bicudo, K. D. Bullock, J. Henning, J.T. Johns, G. Lacefield, L. Meyer, W.B. Mikel and P.B. Scharko. The Kentucky "Master Cattleman" program. Journal of Animal Science 81(Suppl. 2):5. 2003.

Burris, R., L.H. Anderson, K.D. Bullock, P.B. Scharko and J.H. Randolph. Effect of Brahman-influence on cattle grazing fescue pastures. Journal of Animal Science 81(Suppl. 2):6. 2003.

Bullock, K.D., L.H. Anderson, W.R. Burris, J.C. Henning, P.B. Scharko, W.B. Mikel, D.W. Shepherd, J. Akers, J. Hunter and A.M. Smith. Using a value-added study tour and workshop to develop county based Integrated Resource Management programs. Journal of Animal Science 81(Suppl. 2):5. 2003.

Refereed Journal Articles

Hatler, T.B., S.H. Hayes, L.H. Anderson, and W.J. Silvia. Effect of a single injection of progesterone on ovarian follicular cysts in lactating dairy cows. The Veterinary Journal 172:329-333. 2006.

Hatler, T.B., S.H. Hayes, L.H. Anderson and W.J. Silvia. Effect of a single injection of progesterone on ovarian follicular cysts in lactating dairy cows. The Veterinary Journal 170 (accessible online). 2005.

Bailey, J.D., L.H. Anderson and K.K. Schillo. Effect of novel females and stage of the estrous cycle (estrus vs diestrus) on mating behavior in mature beef bulls. Journal of Animal Science 83:613-624. 2005.

Bailey, J.D., L.H. Anderson and K.K. Schillo. Effects of sequential or group exposure to unrestrained estrual females on expression of sexual behavior in sexually experienced beef bulls. Journal of Animal Science 83:1801-1811. 2005.