The first week of my internship consisted or preparing and attending Cattlemen’s College at Town Creek Farm in West Point. This is an event hosted by Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association along with MSU Extension Service and other sponsors. It is day filled with workshops and speakers informing cattlemen about all different aspects of the industry. To prepare for the event I gathered things to hand-out at the ADS/Extension booth along with our display and tables. Once I got to Cattlemen’s College on Wednesday Dr. Karisch and Ms. Graves had already had the booth set-up so, I helped keeping the booth stocked with materials we were handing out along with helping Mrs. Leanne Peters at MCA with various jobs. I also got to listen in on some of the speaker’s presentations on marketing cattle, herd health and forages which were very informative. Overall the event was a success with over 160 participants from across the southeast. Here are some pictures from the day thanks to Mrs. Leanne Peters and Mr. Sammy Blossom:
Discussing marketing weaned calves at the sale barn
Discussing herd health practices
Brangus bulls out on pasture.
My second week was spent mostly in the office preparing for the upcoming A.I. School. Dr. Karisch was out of the office all week attending a conference so Mrs. Mari Quinn and I got a head start on preparing things for the upcoming A.I School in October. We went ahead and printed all the needed material for participants along with putting it in binders. I also inventoried the MSU Extension Service publications that would be used so we could ensure we had enough for each participant. Now we are just waiting for the publications we ordered and we be able to complete the binders.
Last week, I helped pack up a few things for Beef Cattle Boot Camp located at Brown Loam Branch Station in Raymond, MS. Also, I organized some supplies in the Extension Office… such as judging cards used for the Dixie National Judging Contest. The rest of my week was spent entering data into our handy Cattle Max program at the South Farm. I was able to start updating medications for all of our cattle. Depending on age and sex certain animals were administered different wormers and vaccinations. Also, some bulls were castrated; this information was also entered. All of this information could be added relatively quickly by editing various groups of cattle at once. So, this let me select several animals with the same drug administration and edit them simultaneously. I am surprised daily by the simplicity yet efficiency of this program, and still I do not have a single negative connotation against it.
This past week, we had Beef Cattle Boot Camp on the South Farm at MSU. We worked busily all week to prepare for this event. Producers around the state came to learn more about fencing techniques, live animal selection, reproductive evaluation, and then, they became BQA certified. We prepared rotational tables for the participants to learn more about injectables, identification methods, branding, dehorning, and other beef cattle management practices that comprise the BQA certification process. Becoming BQA (Beef Quality Assurance) Certified tells your buyers and eventually, consumers, that you raised your beef properly, humanely, and therefore, it is fit to eat. Anyone can become BQA certified, I am myself! Right now you can be BQA certified for FREE. Just visit the MSUcares website to learn more!
Out of the Office (From the week of March 11)
Wednesday of last week, I went to Raymond, MS with Allie Vidak, another Beef extension intern. We prepared the facility at Hinds Community College for the BCIA dinner on Wednesday night and the bull sale which was on Thursday night. I hung bull pen signs and help set up the dinner tables and the food line. We served a brisket dinner to the BCIA members and sat in on their meeting. It was neat to see how many producers that are striving to improve the herds across Mississippi! Thursday was a busy, busy day as we registered buyers for the sale and then assisted with book keeping once the sale began. I sat up in the auction block with Dr. Parish and recorded buyer and lot numbers and prices. It was a great experience and I hope to be involved with the Mississippi BCIA in the years to come!
Busy, Busy, Busy Beef Interns (From the week of March 19)
The week of spring break was busy busy busy for the beef extension interns! We started off with the MythBusters workshop on Tuesday which addressed beef cattle myths and truths on topics such as genetics, reproduction, marketing, and environmental impacts. For example, did you know that it takes only 441 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of boneless beef compared to 713 gallons of water to produce 1 cotton t-shirt?? Contrary to popular perception, the beef industry is trying to make a difference to better our planet and make it last! Then, AI school was Thursday through Saturday. I had been looking forward to this event and it was a huge success! Over 40 participants from all over the southeast came to MSU. Unlike past years, there was a much younger crowd seeking to learn the artificial insemination technique! Young producers engaging in these events are so vital as they determine the productivity and longevity of the beef cattle industry!
Beef education and promotion (From the week of April 2)
This week, we are preparing for another beef education event call Beef Cattle Boot Camp. It will be April 4th at MSU’s South Farm and April 11th in Raymond, MS. Stay posted for pictures and an update on how these events went! Towards the end of the week, I has the opportunity to travel to Stillwater, Oklahoma with the Collegiate CattleWomen to an ANCW regional meeting. There we toured the Meat Lab at Oklahoma State University as well as their veterinary school. At the meat laboratory, we learned about the new cut of beef called the Vegas Strip Steak which comes from the top side of the scapula. We also were about to sit in on ANCW meetings which focused on how they as an organization will be promoting the beef industry! It was a great experience which fueled my fire even more to become an advocate for the beef industry!
Apologies from Dr. Karisch for the late posting!
Sold! (From the week of March 11)
This past week the Beef Cattle Improvement Association and Hinds Bull Test Sale took place. We traveled to Jackson on Wednesday and helped set up. Wednesday night we hosted two guest speakers, one was a spokesperson and salesman for the new VetGun that is an oil distribution method of insecticide. The other speaker was Dr. Caleb Lemley, who spoke on reproduction. We also hosted a dinner that night too! That was the interns main task for the night. Everything went very smoothly. The next day the sale was held. We sold 80 lots of bulls from both the bull test as well as the BCIA consigned bulls. I got to help with the desk to take buyer information, and take notes during the sale, as well as checking buyers out at the conclusion of the sale.
Boot Camp Prep And A Trip To The Mid-West (From the week of March 24)
Last week we worked on getting things ready for the upcoming Beef Cattle Boot Camp. Later in the week, I had the opportunity to attend the Region 4 American National CattleWomen’s meeting in Stillwater, OK. While there, we went on numerous tours both on and off campus. We toured the FAPC Robert M. Kerr Food and Agriculture Products Center where we got to see the numerous rooms that were part of their meat processing plant as well as their equipment and baking rooms that are used to research wheat. We then went to Reproductive Enterprises, Inc. and we’re able to see demonstrations of semen collection and analyzation, embryo transfer mechanisms, as well as ultrasound techniques. We also visited OSU’s Vet Teaching Hospital. Our final tour was to the College of Hotel and Restaurant Administration where we had the opportunity to play a game based off of the T.V. Show “Chopped” and to learn about the Vegas Strip Steak that was developed at OSU and released in 2012.
Beef Cattle Boot Camp Prep Week (From the week of March 31)
This week we worked on preparing for Beef Cattle Boot Camp. Boot Camp focused on providing producers more information about practices that they use everyday such as vaccinations, implants, records/identification and consulting their veterinarians. Throughout the week we had to put binders together that contained articles and diagrams of the various topics of Boot Camp. I think we managed to learn every office and department of the Vet School between finding Beef Quality Assurance materials to finding needles and syringes for vaccination demos. Boot Camp was hosted on Friday (April 4th). We helped that day with registration as well as set up of the various stations for demonstrations.