Twenty animal science students at Kansas State University took a hands-on course during the recently completed spring semester that was intended to develop their knowledge, skills and professional relationships in the cattle feeding business. The Feedlot Boot Camp and Teaching Program included a tour of several western Kansas feedyards, as well as one in the central part of the state. Students learned more about receiving and processing; identifying and treating sick cattle; cattle handling and comfort; facility design and evaluation; feed mill operations; commodity storage; and bunk reading and feed calling.
The program was designed by Pete Anderson from Midwest PMS, with assistance from K-State Associate Animal Science Professor Karol Fike and K-State Animal Science Professor Emeritus Larry Corah. It was created to help meet the critical need for trained professionals in the feedlot industry.
In addition to the feedlot tours, students participated in classroom sessions. Topics discussed included an industry overview, how a feedlot operates, cattle health challenges, nutrition, maintenance and the business of cattle feeding.
Students who completed the course, as well as a paid internship with a participating feedlot during the summer of 2019, have the opportunity to earn a $2,500 scholarship. According to K-State, 75% of the students from the class already have secured or are actively seeking jobs and internships in the feedlot industry.