• Beef cattle breeding research was conducted in the early 1940s in cooperation with Fort Lewis A&M.
  • In 1946 many of the foundation lines of the present cow herd were established.
  • Early research centered on the development of inbred lines of Hereford cattle and subsequent line crossing among lines.
  • Selection for improved breeding values for economic traits was practiced concurrently.
  • Studying the effects of inbreeding on reproduction and growth traits was practiced concurrently.

Dr. Stonaker with bullDr. Stonaker was a fresh Ph.D. from Iowa State University when he was hired by Colorado A & M (now CSU) Department of Animal Science in 1943. With a degree in Animal Breeding and Genetics under Dr. J.L. Lush, he began looking at the resources and facilities at the "old fort". After a brief stint serving his country, he returned in 1946 to begin one of the largest and longest running project to study inbreeding in cattle.

This picture of Dr. Stonaker was taken in late 1940s. In June 1998 he identified this bull as Hiwan Prince C58, one of the comprest bulls in the Mesa line.

Photo courtesy of Al & Ruth Denham

Managers of SJBRC
Jim Engel 1946-53
Kent Riddle 1953-1968
Rob Marquis (range) & Pete Fagerlin (cattle) 1969-1971
Ken Brengle (range) & Pete Fagerlin (cattle) 1971-1973
Al Denham 1974-1993
David Schafer 1993-2000
Beth LaShell, Interim 2000-2001
Doug Zalesky 2001-2010
San Juan Basin Research Center closed June 2010

two bulls with handlers

During the time the college was at the "old Fort", they also hired herdsmen to attend to the college's animals.

Pictured to the right are John Rothlisberger, Assistant Animal Husbrandrymen and Max E. McKinnon, Agriculture Supt. in 1951. Bulls shown are son and father Colo 1238 and Colo 236, respectively. They belonged to the Colorado inbred line and were produce of CSC Dominator 6.

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