Beef Blast ‘07
Denise Schwab, Beef Field Specialist, Southeast Area
All Extension staff were encouraged to be more actively involved in recruiting potential students to ISU. What better way to get youth interested in ISU than to spend some time on campus with faculty, staff and students? Beef Blast 07 was developed as a result of increasing student recruitment.
The objectives of the program were to:
Increase participants knowledge about beef cattle production. Create a greater understanding of current issues facing cattlemen. Provide an opportunity to meet other youth with similar interests. Expose youth to opportunities at ISU and promote Animal Science Roundup. Enhance leadership skills of 4-Hers on the planning committee. Create hands-on learning tools to be used during the bus trip and other beef workshops in the area. Certify youth in FSQA with a beef focus.
The program was designed to have four basic products: the tour to ISU, leadership development experiences for a select group of older youth, learning tools that could be used in county programs, and recruitment to ISU.
102 youth in grades seven through ten, from 12 counties in eastern Iowa participated in the trip to ISU. They met with ISU researchers, faculty and staff to learn about current issues in beef production that ISU is researching and developing. They had a great first impression of ISU and were encouraged to follow up by participating in State 4-H Conference and Animal Science Roundup.
Six high school youth helped provide leadership to this activity. They determined tour stops and topics, created learning activities, and helped host the bus trip.
Hands-on learning tools were developed to be taught on the bus trip, but to also be used at project meetings throughout the area. These activities include feed pyramid and feed identification, disease spread and biosecurity activity, and a videotape of 4-Hers demonstrations. These were provided to all twelve counties to be use in food safety and quality assurance workshops.
Students met with faculty and staff through workshops and lunch time. They experienced ISU animal science and meat science facilities, The College of Ag student recruitment office discussed career opportunities and Block & Bridle students discussed educational programs at ISU. Participants were also encouraged to attending State 4-H Conference and Animal Science Roundup as a more advanced opportunity to see the ISU campus and learn more about the Animal Science program
The trip was funded by a registration fee for participants and grants from the Iowa 4-H Foundation, Theisens Farm & Home Store, Iowa Beef Industry Council, and County Cattlemen groups from Benton, Clinton, Iowa, Jackson, Johnson, Jones,
Poweshiek and Tama Counties.
End-of-meeting evaluations revealed that:
57% said they learned one new thing in FSQA
52% said they learned one new thing about ISU
79% said they learned a lot at the meat lab
69% said they learned a lot at the teaching farm
66% said they learned a lot at the nutrition farm
85% said they would recommend this trip to others
Participant comments included:
What did you learn? The trip to ISU was informational and helped me understand things like feed. I learned what certain things to look for in ultrasound pictures. We went really fast with lots of great info and not enough time. I learned about the cows stomach and how it feels (very cool feeling inside of the stomach). The white inside part of the corn kernel is starch. There may be a problem in the future with the build up of co-products from ethanol plants. I learned that ISU has two steers with windows. I learned that the livestock judging team travels to 8 states and has won 20 national championships. We learned how diseases are transmitted, and that ISU is more than Ag. I learned what ultrasound was used for in cattle, and how meat tenderness is tested. Angus can carry genetics for dwarfism. Campus life at Iowa State is a blast. I learned what PCR is I learned how much the rumen holds
What will you do differently with your 4-H beef project animals? Watch their alertness when working with animals, and keep track of their rations. Incorporate feed additives I learned about into their rations Try different feed rations. Look at feeding distillers grains Ill spend more time on nutrition and general care
What was the best part of this trip? Reaching into the steers stomach. The steer with a hole in its stomach. Seeing the labs and going to the farms. The short FSQA training I actually learned something.
What will you share with your 4-H club about the trip? That seeing and feeling inside a steer was awesome! Its more fun than you think. What a cows stomach looks like. It was a great opportunity to meet people and get a good look at Iowa State and what they have to offer. I had a lot of fun! I met new people and I learned things about beef that I didnt know. All the jobs they can have in agriculture
In a follow up with county staff, twelve of the 102 participants were going to participate in State 4-H Conference or Animal Science ROUNDUP. County staff also wanted to see the program continue in 2008 with a focus on horses and hogs.
140 Iowa Beef Center
Page last updated:
September 27, 2007
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