The McGregor Research Center currently encompasses 6,372 acres in central Texas. It was first established as the 17,483-acre Bluebonnet Farm in December of 1947, but was reduced to its current size in 1952. Management oversight was assigned to the Department of Animal Science in 1972. The center currently has 13 full-time employees, one part-time maintenance employee, and six seasonal student employees.
Scientists in the Department of Animal Science conduct beef cattle research at McGregor focused on three primary industry concerns: (1) product and process differentiation, (2) reducing the unit cost of production, and (3) beef quality, consistency, and food safety. The two dominant research projects are bovine genomics and heterosis retention.
In cooperation with scientists in the Breeding and Genetics Section of the Department of Animal Science, McGregor seeks to become established as one of the preeminent sites in the world for bovine genomics. Genetic markers will be identified to assist producers in increasing quality and consistency of beef as well as assisting in the differentiation of beef products and production processes.
The facility includes a 700-head feedlot, a feed mill, and the capacity to individually feed 168 head of cattle. In addition, 2,000 acres are dedicated to row crops while 177 acres of improved pasture are leased-out. The center also maintains an 1,100-head herd of cattle.
Research programs include the following: genetic markers for cow productivity traits, horned/polled condition, disposition, feed intake, and efficiency of growth; heterosis retention; evaluation of subtropically-adapted breeds of cattle; beef tenderness; animal health; genetic and management effects on marbling; differentiation of fat and muscle cells; and impact of fatty acids in beef on serum cholesterol in humans.
For more information about the McGregor Research Center, please contact Dr. Ryon Walker at 254-840-2878.
McGregor Research Center
773 Ag Farm Road
McGregor, Texas 76657-3501
(2 miles west of SH 317 on FM 2671)