Feeder Calf tour teaches as it tours
By ALLAN TINKER
Turtle Lake Voc Ag students, along with feeder calf owners, interested investors and business owners and friends, all learned as they visited the 2013 group of calves, as they had previous years’ feeder calves from the October shows and competitions in Turtle Lake.
The calves are at the Carring-ton Research Center which is a good place for both the cattle and human visitors. On visitors’ day, humans may even match calves’ daily gain with the good food that is made available for their lunch. It is a trip looked forward to each year by many in the communities the calves come from and are sold into by way of businesses’ sponsorships.
This year the trip was set for Feb 3 and nineteen Ag students from TL-M School and their advisor; four sale calf owners and six producers were on the bus. The bus left Turtle Lake at 8:45 am and arrived at NDSU Carrington station headquarters at 10:30, where they were greeted by Karl Hoppe, Vern Anderson and Chandra Engel.
They were served coffee, juice and rolls; listened to a short report on the calves and a report with the calves with results (so far) was handed out. Tim Hanson, local producer, gathered the information for this article and also took photos.
Tim reported that the calves were last weighed January 13, 2014. "The average weight was 921.8 pounds. The average start weight of the calves on October 19, 2013 was 600.4 pounds. The 143 calves on trial are gaining 3.74 pounds per day."
He added, "After the reports, it was off to the feedlot to see our calves. Despite cold fingers, cold feet and runny noses, all the calves were found for the ones looking for certain animals and many photos were taken."
Along the way, the NDSU staff and other experts on feeding explained the ration, feeding process and other aspects of the feed trials.
Then, it was back on the bus and around back of the feedlot to the headquarters for a lunch of roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn on the cob and desert.