Livestock Program

Livestock facilities:  The Swine Research and Education Facility is a 40 sow farrow-to-finish primarily indoor operation with a large classroom, surgery suite, and laboratory. The Ruminant Research and Education Farm has pastures, buildings, shelters and handling systems to work with a 40 doe Boer and Kiko crossbred herd of goats (the Boer goats are shown in local shows) and a 50 ewe flock of Katahdin and Katahdin crossbred hair sheep plus a few Suffolk crossbred ewes for offspring to participate in local shows.  We get in calves every year that the students in the Introduction to Animal and Poultry Science class care for and halter train and we have had horses on the farm as well.

UMES Livestock Research: Goat, swine, sheep and horse applied research (breeding and genetics, feeding and nutrition, reproduction, growth and development, etc.) as well as biotechnology research through collaborations.  Also, with pigs, nutrition-reproduction interactions, specifically looking at influences of metabolic and satiety factors on female reproduction.

Outreach:  The Animal and Poultry Science Club has volunteered at dog shows, hosted livestock auctions, taken field trips to vet schools and farms, and invited job recruiters to host pizza parties.  Also, MANRRS is a club open to students involved in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences – they host parties and travel to National MANRRS meetings.  Producer groups meet on the UMES campus and livestock facilities and faculty are also available for support programs for the Annual Small Farms Conference (Maryland Cooperative Extension, UMES).  UMES faculty work with the local Somerset County Fair as well as the Maryland State Fair livestock shows. 

For more information about the Livestock facilities and UMES Farm livestock research, contact Dr. Niki Whitley at 410-651-6194 or by email at  For information about poultry research and facilities, contact Dr. Jeannine-Harter Dennis at 410-651-6542. 

For information on Animal and Poultry Science degree options, click here.  


Livestock Program Research


Biotechnology – Genes/genetics impacting parasite resistance in goats and sheep; genetic selection.

Sustainable Agriculture – Parasite control solutions including breeds and breeding for profitable pasture production systems, alternative anthelmintics, pasture rotation, multi-species grazing and forage selection as well as breeding stock selection; reproduction and out of season breeding; early postpartum rebreeding; nutrition and economics of feeding (including use of probiotics in sheep and goats).

Sheep and Goat Abstracts

Click on the title to view the abstract






Biotechnology – Cloning a stress-related gene in swine and its impact on meat quality and  reproductive hormones (using primary pituitary cell culture).

Sustainable Agriculture – Use of Hoop structures (demonstration); using artificial insemination for profitable small farm swine production systems-AI workshops; 4-H swine production assistance.

Equine – Effect of all natural probiotics on growth and gut microflora in weanling horses; effect of obesity, diet and exercise on insulin resistance in adult horses.

Horse and Swine Abstracts

Click on the title to view the abstract


  • Influence of urocortin on appetite in pigs



The Ruminant and Swine Facilities

The ruminant facility is housed on the farm. Research conducted there involves parasite resistance in sheep and goats (breeding, alternative dewormers, etc), meat quality/food safety, alternative feed ingredients and increasing reproductive efficiency. The ruminant facility consists of several pastures and buildings, as well as handling equipment for the livestock. Buildings include sustainable facilities such as Hoop structures.  Although calves are brought in every year for teaching purposes, the primary animal inhabitants of the ruminant farm are hair sheep and meat goats. Research methods used in the animal-related research include molecular biology techniques (i.e. cloning and sequencing of DNA), measurement of hormones, and applied procedures such as measuring worm egg numbers in feces, feeding different rations and measuring growth rates of the animals.

The Swine facility is also located on the farm. Research conducted there involves growth, reproduction and meat quality. The facility includes a 40-sow, total confinement farrow-to-finish unit which includes a metabolism room with crates adaptable for swine, sheep and goats and other rooms that can accommodate the individual housing and feeding of swine, sheep or goats as necessary for many experiments. All sows are bred using artificial insemination. Pregnant sows are group-housed in a large pen serviced by a computerized sow feeding apparatus. The facility includes a surgery suite, laboratories, offices and a classroom.

The Ruminant facility has pasture and housing that has also been the home to horses, including rescued Standardbreds, Nurse Mare foals (as yearlings) and PMU foals (as yearlings) among others.  However, all equine research has been conducted at other institutions in collaboration with UMES.

Contact & Links

Contact Us

Phone: 410-651-6194
Fax: 410-651-6207
Related LinksThe following hyperlinks may change over time. Please bookmark the ones you find helpful or interesting. If you have problems reaching any of the links, please fill out a response form (please list the problematic link in the comments section) or e-mail me: . 

Maryland Cooperative Extension at UMES
Information on the MCE – UMES program
Information Central for MCE
Information on the MCE – College Park program. Includes links to Livestock information pages. 

Link to the UMES home page. Get to the Department of Agriculture by choosing Schools and Departments (under Prospective Students) and then choose Agricultural Sciences 

Maryland Small Ruminant page (
This site has all you need to know about raising sheep and goats. Wonderful links to specific other sites for learning (such as Sheep101) can be found here. 

National Sheep Improvement Program
Get information here about sheep programs, including how to sign up to be part of the EPD program to help evaluate the genetics of your sheep or goats (Kiko, Boer). 

National Pork Producers Council (NPPC)
TONS of information about pigs and pork, including recipes and food safety information and tips on successful swine production. 

Swine Care HandbookA handbook for general swine care including housing, feeding, reproduction, etc.

Career Resources

Agricultural Jobs at, has jobs listed as well as excellent links to other agricultural job lists or search sites. Check this out and see SOME of the many different jobs and careers agriculture offers. to help find jobs for you

This part of the site has links to agricultural job recruiters who will work with you (usually free) to help you find a job (employers usually pay them, not you) Other Links to Career and Intern Resources

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