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Litton-Reaves houses the central and administrative offices, the Student Resource Center, the Graduate Program Offices, and the Office of Undergraduate Education for the School of Animal Sciences on the third floor. Faculty and program offices, laboratories, conference rooms, and classrooms are located on the second and third floors. Additionally, the school maintains Biosafety Level 2 animal research facilities at Litton-Reaves. Kentland Farm, located 10 miles from campus, provides space and primary facilities for several of our programs, while others are located closer to campus.

SAS maintains a 200-ewe sheep flock, a 150-cow beef herd, a 290-dairy herd, 40-sow swine herd, a five-building turkey center with facilities for >2,000 young and 1,500 adult chickens, and a herd of 75 to 120 horses for teaching and research activities on-campus.   

Facilities providing support for the the school's teaching, research and extention missions can be found below.

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    Alphin-Stuart Livestock Teaching Arena (LARNA)

    The Alphin-Stuart Livestock Teaching Arena includes a 125-by-250-foot ring with a prescription earthen floor, classroom space, office space, bleacher seating for 450, animal holding pens, and a kitchen/concession area.

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    Beef Cattle Center

    The Beef Cattle Center serves as the hub of most beef cattle laboratories for SAS and VMRCVM classes. The beef barn serves the SAS teaching, research, and outreach programs in the areas of genetics, physiology, nutrition, herd health, and management of beef cattle. The center maintains registered herds of Angus, Polled Hereford, Charolais, and Simmental cattle, as well as a herd of commercial cows.

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    Beef Nutrition and Physiology Research Facility

    This approximately 33,000-square-foot, $4.4 million cattle housing facility and accompanying storage facility includes a 20-stall cattle housing area for feed studies, loading chutes, a feed mixing room, laboratory space, four grain bins, four covered bulk commodity bins, and a three-sided hay shed. Programs will help support the beef cattle industry, which generates $327 million in cash receipts in Virginia annually.

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    Broiler Grow-out Facility

    The Broiler Grow-Out Facility will help grow the state’s poultry industries, which bring in more than $1 billion in cash receipts annually. This is one of the new facilities on Glade Road and includes pens, work areas, and feed storage. Creating cutting-edge information that supports and grows this economic engine for the commonwealth is one of the unit’s goals.

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    Copenhaver Sheep Center

    The Copenhaver Sheep Center plays a vital role in the teaching, research, and outreach missions of the School of Animal Sciences and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The center currently maintains three flocks for these purposes - registered Suffolk and Dorset flocks, and a flock of hair sheep (St. Croix , Barbados Blackbelly, and various crosses).

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    Dairy Complex at Kentland Farm

    The Dairy Complex at Kentland Farm is a state-of-the-art facility which allows the efficient use of land with upgrades and incorporated technologies. The 256 milking cows are housed in a freestall barn where feed consumption can be monitored for research. Sand bedding is recycled using a weeping wall system for manure management. Our herd was the first in the nation with both AFILab and Pedometer Plus systems.

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    The Equitation Barn & Equipment Storage Facility

    These two buildings valued at more than $3.2 million have more than 18,000 square feet of room and include a 29-stall horse barn with tack rooms, wash stalls, groom stalls, manure storage, locker rooms, and both heated and unheated storage rooms.

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    William M. Etgen Large Animal Learning Center

    The William M. Etgen Large Animal Learning Center is located at the beef center on Plantation Road. This new 10,277 sq. ft. facility provides classrooms, lab space, and animal holding space to support hands-on animal science instruction and research, as well as housing extension activities.

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    VT Meat Center

    The Virginia Tech Meat Science Center serves to support the teaching, research and extension activities of the School of Animal Sciences and is fully equipped to process livestock. It is an integral part of our teaching, research and extension activities. Our facility is unique in that it allows students to learn the processes from harvest to fabrication because all our products are processed on site. The Meat Center also sells a wide variety of products that are processed in-house.

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    Metabolic Research Laboratory

    The MRL is a new 11,330 sq. ft. facility located at the Dairy Complex that provides housing and laboratory space for cattle research requiring controlled environments. Climate controlled animal rooms have unique stall systems offering individual food, water, waste and space control. In-room milking and a pathway to the Dairy Complex parlor is available for lactating cattle. Laboratories provide equipment such as a fume hood, autoclave, centrifuges, and refrigeration units.

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    Paul B. Siegel Poultry Research Center

    This research and teaching facility named for Paul Siegel, University Distinguished Professor Emeritus, is instrumental in support of our knowledge and understanding of chicken breeding, growth, reproduction, and immunology.

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    Smithfield Horse Center

    The Smithfield Horse Center, along with the Equitation Barn, support the Virginia Tech equine and equestrian programs. Equine behavior, training, and livestock merchandising classes, the Hokie Harvest Horse Sale, the riding program, the Virginia 4-H Horse program, and many other activities are based at these facilities.

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    Swine Center

    This 24,000-square-foot, $5.6 million center at Kentland Farm houses a small-scale swine production and research facility, classrooms, boar housing and gestation facilities, and rooms for farrowing, nursery, and finishing.

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    Turkey Grow-out Facility

    The Turkey Grow-Out Facility will help grow the state’s poultry industries, which bring in more than $1 billion in cash receipts annually. This is one of the new facilities on Glade Road and includes pens, work areas, and feed storage. Creating cutting-edge information that supports and grows this economic engine for the commonwealth is one of the unit’s goals.

Our ties to Agricultural Research and Extension Centers (ARECs) across the state expand the possibilities for both research and extension while providing learning opportunites for producers and VCE agents.  ARECs with focus on animals and/or related to our programs are listed below.

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    Middleburg Agricultural Research and Extension Center (MARE Center) , redirect

    The Middleburg Agricultural and Extension Center (MARE Center) plays a critical role in discovery, outreach, and education missions. Through collaborations with academic and industry partners around the world, the center advances the health and well-being of the horse through innovative research efforts and exceptional educational programming in equine science.

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    Shenandoah Valley Agricultural Research and Extension Center , redirect

    The Shenandoah Valley Agricultural Research and Extension Center includes more than 900 acres of owned and leased land in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Research and Extension programs at the center cover livestock production, forages and forage systems, and small-scale forestry and wood lot management. The center’s beef cattle programs include breeding, reproduction, nutrition, and management, as well as controlled rotational grazing and forage systems. Sheep programs include ram performance testing and commercial ewe lamb development.

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    Southwest Virginia Agricultural Research and Extension Center , redirect

    The Southwest AREC, located in Glade Spring, VA, is the key site for hair sheep research at Virginia Tech. It is home to the Southwest Virginia Forage-Based Ram Test--the only program in the U.S. evaluating rams through a forage-based performance test designed specifically to quantify post-weaning growth and parasite resistance. Additionally, the Southwest Virginia AREC maintains a strong program in value-added, forage-based, cattle growing systems for beef cattle, which include a heifer development project and a backgrounded stocker calf project to meet Virginia Quality Assured Program standards.

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    Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center , redirect

    The Tidewater AREC swine facility serves as a base for a research program with emphasis on reproductive physiology, breeding herd management, and welfare.

Springtime photo of Litton-Reaves Hall under a blue skiy with green grass and trees starting to bud.
Litton-Reaves Hall.

To schedule a tours, spaces, or projects within the Dairy Complex, contact the Herd and Farm Committee (

Additional Campus Facilities...

include comprehensive data processing facilities maintained by the Computer Center, an electron microscopy laboratory, DNA sequencing facility, animal health and physiology laboratories in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, and a confocal microscope facility in the Fralin Biotechnology Center.