The pupose of the Beef Unit is to provide cattle for laboratories in numerous courses and also to provide staudents the opportunity to gain "hands on" experience with beef cattle. Students are involved in the day to day care, and management of all the animals in the beef program at California State University, Fresno, which involves purebred herds and a feedlot that are part of the agricultural laboratory on campus.
The Fresno State Beef Unit consists of two purebred herds representing the Charolais and Angus breeds. The majority of the bull progeny are marketed as breeding bulls to other cattle producers and the majority of the heifer progeny are kept as herd replacements. All females are exposed to estrous synchronization and artificial insemination and are mated to superior sires in their respective breeds. Sire selection is based on a combination of superior EPD's (expected progeny differences) and superior phenotypic characteristics.
Some of the cattle that are fed in the feedlot are used in live animal and carcass evaluation courses and latered harvested at the Meats Labortatory as part of various meat science courses. In addtion, breeding heifers and bulls are also developed in the feedlot.