Soap Creek Phone: (541) 745-5955 (office)
Unit Supervisor: James Males
Unit Management Team Chair: TBA
The Department of Animal Sciences operates two beef ranches near Corvallis. The Soap Creek Ranch (1,880 acres) is eleven miles north of the OSU campus, while the Berry Creek Ranch (1,000 acres) is fifteen miles north of campus. Approximately 65% of these ranches are open grasslands utilized primarily for forage production, and the balance is forested. Just over 100 acres of riparian area at Soap Creek is enrolled in the CREP program of FSA. Although these two units are not adjoining properties, they are operated by the beef manager and undergraduate student employees as one unit. The approximately 100-cow herd is bred at Soap Creek and is bred to calve in the spring. The majority of these cows are crossbred commercial cows; however, there is a registered Black Angus herd of approximately 30 cows within that number. Additionally, stocker cattle from outside producers are grazed at Berry Creek in spring and early summer. The cattle herds and the property itself are used to conduct research (both cattle and forage), classes, student projects, extension activities, and maintain the herds. The ranches include scales, covered processing areas, and hay barns. Soap Creek has approximately 101 riparian acres enrolled in the FSA’s CREP program. The Department also has facilities on campus only two blocks from Withycombe Hall. The facilities are utilized very actively for teaching and research. This facility contains a small cattle feedlot, feed storage bins, and numerous research pens including Calan feeding gates. Additionally, there are two covered cattle processing areas and scales at this campus unit.
The Harvey Ranch/OSU Animal Sciences
Located 11 miles west of Paisley, Oregon, a four and one-half hour drive from OSU, this eastern Oregon ranch consists of 1,200 acres and public land permits for spring and summer grazing. The original homestead provided 640 acres of pasture land for sheep, but through the years additional acreage has been added and, since 1917, the ranch has been producing high-quality beef cattle. The ranch was donated to OSU in November, 1987 by Glenn and Mildred Harvey. The ranch is operated and managed by the OSU Foundation. The cow-calf to yearling operation handles about 350 Hereford X Shorthorn cows in the winter and spring on meadowlands that grow native meadow hay that includes timothy, clover, sedges, and rushes. To allow the grass to produce hay, the cattle are moved onto BLM land shortly after branding in early April. They are then rotated onto Forest Service land and range land for the rest of the grazing season. Much of the hill country has been seeded with crested-wheat grass, a hardy graze-resistant plant. Management practices include alternate day/night feeding of grass and alfalfa hay to the yearlings and a thorough record-keeping system that has contributed to the 200-pound weight improvement in yearlings over the past 30 years. High-quality commercial bulls have been purchased and an artificial insemination program has been initiated for the heifers. Internships are available to students with majors in the College of Agricultural Sciences, providing practical hands-on experience in the beef industry. The ranch affords an excellent opportunity for students from various fields to work together and combine efforts on a variety of projects, and also enables graduate students to conduct agricultural research in watershed management, semi-arid forage production, and various aspects of ranch management. Facilities: 1 large barn, 1 calving shed, 1 shop, corral - three large pens, 3 smaller sorting pens, 1 sorting alley, 1 scale system adjacent to corral, Powder River tub and squeeze chute system, 1 hay shed, 1 300 hd capacity feedlot.