Logan County High School Agriculture Education teacher, Jay Campbell, and 35 FFA students at the high school boarded the bus Monday morning ready to depart for their first tour, Milam Cattle Farms. At the farm, owner and Ag Extension Agent, Chris Milam, had several head of cattle tied in his facility and gave a presentation on cattle selection, judging practices, meat identification and nutrition practices.
From Milam's, the students took the bus over to Robey's Dairy, the largest dairy in the state. At Robey's, students were able to get an overview of how a dairy operates and get a firsthand look at the facilities. Students were shown the entire process from feeding the cattle, bringing them into the milking parlor, hooking the cows up to the milking machines, and finally the process the milk goes through from the udder to the holding tank.
After touring Robey's, the students arrived at the Logan County Extension Complex for a “cooking with beef” presentation. Rachel Hance, Logan County FCS Agent, demonstrated a beef and cheese nacho dip and answered questions about cooking with beef. During the presentation students also enjoyed a lunch of all beef hamburgers and sides made possible by the Logan County Cattlemen's Association. The lunch cost was covered by a beef grant secured by the county extension agents.
After lunch, Dale Goad, with the Farm Service Agency, gave a short talk on student agricultural loans. He supplied information about loans geared toward students to help them get started with an agricultural endeavor. The loans feature a very low interest rate and are a great way to establish credit. The loans can be used to purchase anything from equipment and feed, to livestock or facilities.
The final speaker for the day was Dr. Woodall from the Logan County Animal Clinic. Dr. Woodall led an interesting discussion about various trends and technology changes in the animal health field. He covered issues such as artificial insemination, electronic identification tags, cloning, embryo transfer and other animal health related topics. Students were able to pass around various veterinary tools and ask questions relating to the discussion.
After Dr. Woodall's presentation, students arrived back at the high school with a more advanced knowledge of raising and marketing cattle. Each student was given a chance to evaluate the program and make comments. Every student who participated gained some knowledge about beef or dairy cattle. Many also noted they will use more beef in their recipes and every participant agreed the program should be offered again next year. This proved to be a valuable day of learning and fun for the students.
The Logan County Extension Service offers several opportunities to learn more about livestock. There are currently active 4-H Horse and Lamb Clubs. These meet on a regular basis and are involved in many aspects of hands-on learning and activities. There are also many 4-Hers who show cattle in the steer show each year. A new addition to the 4-H livestock program is the introduction of a livestock judging team. This team is open to any youth in the county with an interest in judging and learning more about livestock. There will be a meeting during the month of October to discuss the upcoming judging season and talk about putting a team together. If you are interested in joining the livestock judging team or want information about any of our other 4-H livestock programs, please contact the Logan County Extension Office at 726-6323.