C. Oran Little Research Center
The C. Oran Little Research Center is a 1484 acre farm which was purchased in 1991 for the development of a state-of-the-art animal research facility. The center is located at the intersection of Highway 60 and Highway 62 in Versailles, Kentucky. The land and facilities replaced most of the animal research activities and programs that had been conducted on the University of Kentucky Coldstream Farm since the 1950’s. Shortly after the farm was purchased, the state legislature approved funds for the construction of buildings and infrastructure to house beef, swine and sheep units.
The modern beef research facility consists of an intensive research building and four buildings with pens for feeding individual or pens of animals. Additionally, the facility has a nutrition center with six silos, a handling facility, and a manure compost operation. The Intensive Research building is equipped to handle highly technical research and the building serves as the office and headquarters for the beef unit. The Intensive Research building also contains laboratories and a classroom for instruction.
The swine research facility houses 120 sows. The facility consists of three separate components: the headquarters, gestation and farrowing; the nursery; and the growing-finishing unit. Nutrition and the prudent use of antibiotics in commercial swine production is the focus of research. Manure from the facility is stored in tanks and periodically injected into crop fields for fertilizer.
The sheep research unit consists of a 350 ewe flock. The sheep facility, located on 110 acres of the C. Oran Little Research Center, contains a lambing barn, nutrition center, office complex, student living quarters, and pastures for forage evaluation. Research centers on improving the efficiency of sheep production for Kentucky producers. In addition to research, the beef, swine, and sheep facilities are used for undergraduate course work, and other educational programs. Also, faculty and staff of the departments of Veterinary Science, Plant and Soil Science, and Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering conduct research at the C. Oran Little Research Center.