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Range students tour 18 sites in two states

May 22, 2017

Chadron State College students enrolled in a Ruminant Production Lab pose at the Cargill Meat Solutions Plant near Ft. Morgan, Colorado, while on a five-day travel study tour to 18 beef, equine and dairy enterprises in Nebraska and Colorado. (Courtesy photo) Chadron State College students enrolled in a Ruminant Production Lab pose at the Cargill Meat Solutions Plant near Ft. Morgan, Colorado, while on a five-day travel study tour to 18 beef, equine and dairy enterprises in Nebraska and Colorado. (Courtesy photo)

CHADRON – Chadron State College students toured 18 agriculture-related operations and facilities in Nebraska and Colorado during a week-long tour in April.

Dr. Ron Bolze, associate professor of Applied Sciences, planned and led the field experience for 18 students enrolled in his Ruminant Production and Lab (AGRI 333/333L) course.

Maddison Nygren of Mead, Nebraska, said touring the Cargill Meat Solutions Beef Processing Plant in Fort Morgan, Colorado, gave her a greater appreciation for the beef production and processing industry.

She was also impressed with a tour of the Croissant Red Angus operation near Briggsdale, Colorado, by manager Kevin Miller.

“His cows were some of my favorites and it was amazing how uniform everything was. I really applaud his reproductive physiology practices and selection process,” Nygren said.

Nygren said the most surprising thing she learned on the tour was a recycling practice of Teague Diversified livestock breeders near Fort Morgan, Colorado.

“The paunch of cattle, which is the by-product that comes out of the rumen after the cattle are killed, can be used to build soil fertility along with sewer waste and beef manure,” Nygren said.

She also felt the tour introduced her to more of the many options available in ag production.

“It just makes me excited to see what I can get my hands on someday. I think the fact that we saw a couple places that farm and run cows really got me thinking of how I can do that on my parents’ operation now,” Nygren said. “To me it is amazing the technology and outside the box thinking we experienced on this trip.”

Jenna Lincoln of Bartlett, Nebraska, said Cargill and the CSU Beef Research Center were the highlights of the tour for her.

“It was interesting to learn how everything from cattle gets used and recycled after harvest, and because Cargill isn't something you get to experience every day. The Colorado State University (CSU) Beef Research Center opened my eyes to the possibilities of graduate school, and the unlimited amount of research that can be done in the field of agriculture,” Lincoln said.

Another aspect of the tour that impressed her was the variety and diversity of cattle operations.

“Each one is successful in their own way. There isn't a specific equation everyone uses,” Lincoln said.

Like Nygren and Lincoln, Cattibrie Riggle of Midland, South Dakota, said Cargill was one of her favorite stops, especially because she hadn’t previously visited a packing plant. She was also fascinated by a chance group to observe video of a technician fertilizing a horse egg under a microscope at the CSU Equine Reproductive Center.

Being able to meet the owners and operators of the Leachman Cattle Company had meaning for Riggle because Bolze had discussed their operation previously and she had reviewed its sale catalog with family members.

“Dr. Bolze exposes us to many different producers who all do things differently, but do them exceptionally well and are very successful,” Riggle said.

—Tena L. Cook, Marketing Coordinator

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