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Hands on learning and research opportunities

At SFA, we believe that transformative, hands-on learning experiences are an essential part of a college education. As an agriculture student at SFA, you’ll have the opportunity to get out of the classroom and apply what you’ve learned in the real world. You’ll also have the opportunity to get into our labs and facilities, where you’ll work with faculty members on important research projects. 

Some of our recent research initiatives include:

Beef Center

The Beef Center provides students with valuable real-world experience in cattle production. Each year, students organize public and community events and participate in research projects and hands-on learning activities such as:

  • Studies to determine the feasibility of incorporating the use of small unmanned aerial systems, or drones, into several aspects of beef cattle production.
  • Beef cattle reproduction projects that allow students to manage a donor female, assist in collection of oocytes, manage the recipient herd and assist in transfer of embryos. Students also conduct ultrasounds to confirm pregnancies in the recipient females. 

For more information about the Beef Center, contact Dr. Erin Brown at

Broiler Research Center and Poultry Research Center

Through the Broiler Research Center and Poultry Research Center the SFA poultry science program works closely with the poultry industry to discover, evaluate and interpret better methods of poultry production. Recent initiatives and research projects include:

  • research on the effectiveness of prebiotics and probiotics as alternatives to traditional antibiotics
  • developing ways to meet increasing consumer demands for poultry without sacrificing the health and care of the animals
  • and investigating the effects and benefits of energy-efficient light-emitting diode lighting in chicken houses.

For more information about the Broiler Research Center and Poultry Research Center, contact Dr. Joey Bray at

Equine reproduction

This unique program allows agriculture students to gain hands-on experience and play an active role in equine reproduction. Students do everything from conducting ultrasounds on the brood mares, to monitoring their health and even attending the delivery of the foal.

For more information about the equine reproduction program, contact Dr. Stephanie Jones at

The Plantery

The Plantery provides students with the opportunity to develop a passion for lifelong learning with research projects centered on plant cultivation. What students learn and discover can have an immediate beneficial impact on the horticulture industry and help to prepare students for the skills they’ll need in graduate school. 

Recent student research topics include:  

  • germination trials of native wildflower seed
  • propagation of woody trees and herbaceous perennials
  • effects of fertilizer on the growth of ornamental flowers
  • evaluation of different plant varieties for their performance in the southeast
  • irrigation efficiency for turfgrass species
  • and effects of spacing and pinching on beautiful cut flowers.

For more information about The Plantery, contact Dr. Jared Barnes at



Department of Agriculture

Agriculture Building
Room 101

Mailing Address:
PO Box 13000, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962