About the Center

Student Looking into Microscope

The Oscar Thomas Nutrition Center was built in 1967-68. Along with the laboratory facility there is an environmentally controlled metabolism room for small and large animals. There is also an attached barn with four individual pens. It is located off-campus on the MSU Agricultural Experiment Station, Livestock, Research and Teaching Center. The headquarters for the beef cattle and horse operations are also located here. The Livestock Research and Teaching Center has a research feedlot, Calan gate facility, feedmill, and artificial insemination building. Surrounding pastures and hayfields help support the animals housed there.
Past research focused on swine, beef and dairy cattle, horse, poultry, and sheep nutrition.

The current focus is research with horse nutrition, barley feedlot research, feedlot and grazing animal behavior, extension programs, student training in research techniques, educational demonstrations and tours.

Student activities at the Nutrition Center support laboratory and field work. Students participate via work study, graduate research, or internship fulfillment. Tours are conducted for Animal and Range Sciendes courses and for outside public schools. Special summer workshops are provided through the University.

Purpose and Goals

Nutrition is as important to animals as it is to humans. Proper nutrient balance results in healthier animals, which leads to optimum production. Most of today’ s livestock are raised for the purpose of public consumption. Society today is becoming more and more involved in the welfare of animals, pets and livestock. By studying and improving animal nutrition, we are improving the livelihood and longevity of producing livestock.

The main goal of our facility and department is knowledge. We want to obtain and distribute the knowledge needed to improve our field of study to the producers. We also want the public to understand the vast need for knowledge obtained by our research. This is important in improving the production of a product that is highly desired by consumers. By helping to educate producers in agricultural fields, we are strengthening the top industry in our state. Educating the people of our state makes it possible for our industry to strengthen and expand to its full potential with cooperation and understanding.

Animal Nutrition Research Conducted at the Oscar Thomas Nutrition Center Provides Valuable Information to Agricultural Producers of Montana and the World.

  • Our Research Center: Provides Animal & Range scientists a laboratory facility and personnel to conduct their research.
  • People: Faculty and laboratory staff work collaboratively on research projects.
  • Benefits: Knowledge gained from research conducted in our lab enables producers to increase efficiency of production on their farms and ranches.