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Beef Cattle Center

VT Beef Barn on a sunny autumn day. Fall foliage in the foreground.
2023 State Fair of West Virginia - VT Stockade L355 - Reserve Champion Purebred Simmental Bull.
2023 State Fair of West Virginia - VT Stockade L355 - Reserve Champion Purebred Simmental Bull.
2023 State Fair of West Virginia - VT Legend K285ET - Champion Percentage Simmental Bull.
2023 State Fair of West Virginia - VT Legend K285ET - Champion Percentage Simmental Bull.

The Beef Cattle Center serves as the hub of most beef cattle laboratories for School of Animal Sciences and Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine classes. The Beef Barn serves the School of Animal Sciences' 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. 

Due to limited pasture availability around the beef barn, there are support facilities located a short distance away at the Hoot Owl Woods, the Moore Farm, and the Kentland Farm located 12 miles from the Beef Cattle Center.




Hokie Harvest Sale  →
October 27, 2023, 6:30 PM (Friday)
Alphin-Stuart Arena

  • General Item
    Hokie Harvest

    This annual sale is traditionally held the last weekend in October. The Hokie Harvest Sale provides an experiential learning environment for students with the opportunity to organize and conduct a livestock sale of university-owned beef cattle and horses.

In the Beginning...

The breeding of beef cattle began at Virginia Tech in the early 1900's. Angus cattle were introduced on campus in 1923 with a donation of one bull and three cows from E.L. Hampton of Nashville, Tennessee. At that time, Professor E.L. Hunt and some of the finest cattlemen in the state went out to select cattle that would be suitable for Virginia Tech's beef program. Hereford, Limousin, Gelbvieh, Charolais, and Simmental cattle were added to the campus herd in 1947, 1982, 1986, 1998, and 2000, respectively.


All cows are managed for fall and winter calving.

Designed primarily to meet the teaching demands of the department. Students are assigned a pregnant cow, monitors her calving, and assists with the processing and vaccination of the newborn.  In addition, most of the registered purebreds are halter-broke by students enrolled in the livestock handling and the beef/sheep production classes. This exercise provides valuable experiences dealing with the animal-human interactions. The livestock evaluation and selection course, which includes the collegiate livestock judging team, utilizes countless numbers of commercial and purebred cattle in the training of students. Nearly 700 undergraduate students in the School of Animal Sciences frequent the Beef Cattle Center for competitions or class laboratories during their time at Virginia Tech.

All purebred cows are bred by artificial insemination. The bulls that are raised at the Beef Cattle Center are performance-tested and are sold private treaty. Some bulls are consigned to the state Beef Cattle Improvement Association test stations where they are later sold. Several heifers and cow-calf pairs are sold private treaty as well as through consignment sales such as the Virginia Beef Expo Sales, the Southwest Virginia Angus Association sales, area Hereford sales, and the student-managed Hokie Harvest Sale. Virginia Tech also participates in state Charolais and Simmental sales. The commercial herd of 200 cows is AI's twice to proven sires and then pasture-exposed to natural service bulls raised at the Beef Center.

Chad Joines manages the Beef Cattle Center. Chad was hired as beef herdsman when he graduated from Virginia Tech in 1993, and is currently the Director of Beef Cattle Operations. In addition, there are usually several student workers that help out at the Beef Cattle Center. Chad relies on student volunteers to assist with the daily routines at the Beef Cattle Center. Dr. Dan Eversole has been closely involved with the Beef Cattle Center since 1984 and is currently the Director of Beef Cattle Programs.

Beef Cattle Center

School of Animal Sciences
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg , VA 24061
Beef barn: (540) 231-6280 


I-81 to Exit 118 B
Rt. 460 W bypass
From Rt. 460 bypass take Prices Fork Exit
Turn left on Plantation Road


Our Herds

The Virginia Tech Beef Cattle Center maintains registered Angus, Polled Hereford, Charolais, Simmental, and SimAngus cattle. In addition to the registered cattle, a herd of commercial heifers and cows are maintained to help support the School of Animal Science's mission.