UGA CAES Expanding Livestock Operations
By: GFB News
4/17/2013 11:01:06 AM
The University of Georgia's College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences is in the midst of several moves that will result in more livestock on more land and more facilities, CAES Dean Dr. Scott Angle said in a recent interview with Georgia Farm Bureau media.
CAES has recently acquired the use of the USDA's Campbell Research Farm in Oconee County, and Angle said that while the college is in the process of selling off its Wilkins Beef Cattle Research Farm in Rayle, the cattle there will be moved to the Central Georgia Research and Education Center in Eatonton and with the larger farm at Campbell, CAES has expanded its capabilities for beef cattle research.
"It's a demonstration that we're committed to the long term in animal sciences," Angle said. "I've heard a couple of comments here recently that the University of Georgia and the College of Ag may be cutting back their commitment to animal sciences especially as we have talked about selling the Wilkins farm. When this is all said and done, we're going to have more animals, and we're going to have more land supporting those animals on more facilities. So it's actually a growth in this program."
Angle said feedlot research would be moved from the Wilkins farm to the Eatonton farm.
UGA took over the operations and management of the Campbell farm last summer and is waiting for Congress to approve a deed transfer for the property, which has a total of 1,100 acres. CAES has approximately 200 head of cattle on the farm, with plans to move more cattle there.
Angle said the location is convenient to UGA's main campus in Athens, a key consideration in the training of students in the school's animal science programs, and it holds the advantage of having a large expanse of land on which to graze livestock.
"Obviously our No. 1 mission in the college is to train students and unless you can get students out in the field to see animals, to handle animals, to see our 4-H systems, they are not going to get the level of education they are entitled to," Angle said.
The Campbell Farm was used to study how eroded cotton land could be renovated for other agricultural purposes. It was made available when the USDA chose to close it down in the wake of FY 2012 budget cuts.
"Not much of this land on the Campbell Farm is useful for row crop research," Angle said. "It happens to be ideal for grass and grazing of beef cattle in particular.
The existing buildings at Campbell have become the new home to the Oconee County Extension Office, and plans for the facility's use include studies in sustainable forage management.
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