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Beef interest group tours Sioux Center operations

By Staff | May 23, 2016

MARK ALLAN visits with the group at Trans Ova Genetics and explains how incoming cattle from the United States are received and processed.

SIOUX CENTER – Twenty-four Iowa State University students toured Trans Ova Genetics and Schuitemann Feedlot April 16 as part of a beef interest group tour.

Beth Doran, an ISU Extension beef program specialist described the event as “a whole lot of first-hand learning about the beef industry.”

The students on tour were members of Block and Bridle, a national collegiate organization for students with an interest in animal science.

“The Beef Interest Group, a sub-group of Block and Bridle, said they wanted to see the beef industry in action and they did,” Doran said.

At Trans Ova Genetics, a leader in reproductive technologies and expertise for cattle breeders, Mark Allen, reproductive physiologist, displayed state-of-the art technology ranging from embryo transfer to cloning.

Allen also challenged the students.

“You have a great future in agriculture ahead of you,” Allen said. “Think about how you are going to feed 9 billion people in the world.”

In the afternoon, father-daughter team Joel and Lindsay Schuitemann gave the group a tour through its family’s feedlot, pointing out things such as their cattle working area and mono-slope barns.

The group discussed how producers can be open with consumers.

“Consumers want to know how their beef is raised, and we just recently completed paperwork detailing how we manage our cattle,” Lindsay Schuitemann said.

Joel shared the importance of proper animal husbandry and welfare.

“Cattle comfort is extremely important to us,” Joel Schuitemann said. “Comfortable cattle perform better with greater gains and improved feed efficiency.”

The beef interest group tours were done in partnership with ISU Extension, whose mission is to help build a strong Iowa.

“Having taken part in the tour and listened to the students’ questions, I am convinced the future of agriculture is bright and we will be in good hands with these future leaders,” Doran said.

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