Our mission is to develop and maintain multiple flocks that model modern livestock production and provide a hands-on learning environment for our students.  Our students are exposed to all aspects of sheep management, economics, and marketing while developing interpersonal and leadership skills. 

We have two primary production goals.  Our first goal is to produce quality youth project animals at a reasonable price.  The second is to supply a high quality, seasonal lamb product through the Chico State Meats Lab. 


Flock Description:

Currently the Chico State Sheep Unit has two flocks to use for education and research. Students are responsible for the daily management of the flocks.  Performance data is collected and used for educational purposes as well as for flock management.  All lambs not sold as project lambs are marketed as feeder lambs or finished on our farm and processed and sold through our meats lab.  It is a unique opportunity that we can collect feedlot performance and carcass data on a subset of our lambs each year!


Wether Sheep:

Our crossbred wether sheep flock (Suffolk x Hampshire) is made up of approximately 75 mature ewes. These ewes lamb in the fall (October/November) and winter/spring (January/February) and are used to produce project lambs for youth exhibitors. These ewes are used to teach students about project sheep management and are also used for research on alternative feed products.    


Southdown Ewes:

Our registered Southdown flock is made up of approximately 25 mature ewes. This flock is used to model a purebred, seedstock operation with the primary goal of producing potential show sheep for youth exhibitors. Additionally, this flock will be entered in the National Sheep Improvement Program and data will be collected for the development of in-flock genetic predictors (estimated breeding values).


Management Team:

Our unit is managed by a team of students and staff that are responsible or the day to day management of the sheep.  This involves feeding and health management, irrigation and pasture management, and education and outreach with the community.



Dr. Celina Philips, Faculty Supervisor
Travis Heffner, Staff Supervisor
Brendan Close, Staff Supervisor


Student Employees

Ashley Utz, Half Moon Bay, CA (Agriculture Business Major)
Iris Stewart (Animal Science Major)
Megan Banwarth, Adin, CA (Animal Science Major)


Directed Work Experience Students (ANSC 110)

Heather Lewandowski (Fall 2017)
Madison Nordquist (Fall 2017)
Aimee Maynard (Fall 2017)
Lexie Padilla (Fall 2017)
Victoria Trejo (Fall 2017)
Jackie Villegas (Spring & Fall 2017)
Sarah Hill (Fall 2017)
Holly Hockett (Fall 2017)
Jacob Lockie (Fall 2017)

Ashlynn Bartlett (Spring 2018)
Emily Flores (Spring 2018)
Melisa Larranaga (Spring 2018)
Yulisa Maldonado (Spring 2018)
Kendall Metzger (Spring 2018)
Jessica Moos (Spring 2018)
Madison Redding (Spring 2018)
Taylor Richardson (Spring 2018)



John Boyes
Ben Grismer
Jamie Conner
Julie Allen
Michael Ackley Grady
Brittni Reid
Tommy Matthews