E de la Garza Institute for Goat Research Langston University
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Research Farm

The Research Farm of the E (Kika) de la Garza Institute for Goat Research provides the livestock, facilities, and support personnel that are used in Institute research and extension activities. The Farm currently has approximately 320 fenced acres of land, most of which is used for grazing or harvested forage production. Physically, the Farm can be divided into four components. The 120-acre Main Farm is located on the west side of the Langston University campus and is home to the Alpine dairy herd. The 160-acre South Farm, located 3/4 of a mile south of campus, houses most of the Spanish, Boer, Boer crossbred, and Angora goats. The North Farm area consists of about 30 acres and is situated just north of the Main Farm. The West Pasture area encompasses roughly 30 acres used primarily for grazing studies.

While the Institute's goats are largely raised on pasture, there are occasional research trials that employ the excellent pen facilities of the Research Farm. There are individual 'Calan Gate' feeders at both the Main and South Farms that allow housing in groups while still gathering needed individual intake data. The pen facilities at the Main Farm are employed mostly for lactation studies, and those at the South Farm for the annual Meat Goat Buck Performance test and for meat goat research at other times. There are also additional individual and group pens and metabolism crate facilities for nutrition/physiology research at both the South Farm and North Farm areas. In recent years there has been much crossfencing of farm pastures allowing for greater conduct of grazing research, such as for the Alpine herd at the Main Farm, at the South Farm for cool season grass evaluation, and at the West Pasture area for grazing management studies.

A creamery, for dairy goat milk research and technology transfer, is housed at the Main Farm. Another important unit at the Main Farm is the Dairy Herd Improvement Laboratory, where milk samples from goat dairies all over the country are received and analyzed. The Main Farm also includes feed mixing facilities, and the North Barn area a yard for large equipment storage.

The number of livestock fluctuates from year to year and within years depending on needs for research and extension activities. Generally, numbers vary from 800 to 1,400, being lowest before kidding and greater thereafter. The different types of goats at the Research Farm has increased in the last 10 years. Presently, there are sizable herds of Alpine, Spanish, and Angora goats. In 1995, Boer bucks were purchased for crossbreeding, primarily with Spanish does. In the past few years there have been additional Boer bucks procured each year, and a number of fullblood doelings have been introduced. Moreover, there has been upgrading, so that in the near future an adequate number of high percentage Boer goats will be available for research, in addition to work with crossbreds. There is a small herd of Tennessee Stiff Leg goats as well. Lastly, Great Pyrenees guard dogs are kept. Breeding of goats has in most cases been natural, although use of artificial insemination has been used in some years to improve genetic merit of the dairy herd. While most of the Farm's does follow their natural breeding cycle, recent research on out of season breeding of meat goats has proven successful.

Research Farm personnel both care for livestock and serve as support personnel for research conducted by Institute scientists. In addition to permanent employees, students are an important part of the Farm personnel, working part-time to both support their schooling and to gain valuable experience in small ruminant production.