On Friday, I waved goodbye to six of my friends as they loaded up their cars at 3AM and prepared for an 18-hour drive to Florida to board a cruise ship for spring break. Although I was bummed that I wouldn’t be able to spend a week with them in the sun beside a pool, that thought quickly passed as I realized how great my own spring break was going to be; I get to spend a week with beef! And the coolest part is that I’m not the only college student to choose cattle over the beach.
The Mississippi State Collegiate Cattlemen making a stop at a purebred Brangus farm.
At Mississippi State University, my great friend Joanna King excitedly told me about a trip that their Collegiate Cattlemen’s Association takes every year over spring break. The 15 members attending this year will get to travel north to Kentucky, making stops in Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee to tour several beef operations, the FPL harvesting facility, UK’s Animal Science department, and Churchill Downs. Joanna said she was really excited to spend a week on the road and see a different side of the industry, including a cloned cow!
Leslie Risch fabricating a heifer carcass in the Ohio State Meat Lab
Caitlyn Black, a lamb a pork producer from Marcy, Ohio and a Junior at Ohio State wants to be an honorary beef girl after participating in several beef programs through Ohio State this past weekend. Representatives from Colorado State University came to our animal science department to conduct a beef tenderness study; OSU also wrapped up the two-day Beef 509 program, which is designed to raise awareness about how beef is produced and the reasons why it sometimes misses its mark with consumers’ palates and producers’ pocketbooks. Caitlyn reflects, “It was a great experience being an ‘outsider’ to the industry, to really get a handle on how to produce quality, market ready cattle that can yield and grade high in the system.”
As for the National Beef Ambassador team, we are in Denver! Our team gets to spend an exciting week in Colorado, touring the JBS packing plant and stockyards, participating in leadership training with NCBA and even touring downtown Denver.
Breeding sales are a large part of the Ohio Beef Expo
Once returning home, I will spend the rest of my break working at the Ohio Beef Expo alongside the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association. The Ohio Beef Expo is a premier event for Ohio’s beef community, bringing together producers from all over to exhibit and sell some of the best beef cattle that our state has to offer.
What an exciting week for the beef community! Across the nation, students everywhere are taking advantage of the opportunity to learn more about the beef community while not having to worry about missing classes. For me, getting to spend this week with my teammates and learning more about the beef industry is pretty close to a perfect vacation; now if only there were a beach in Colorado!
All for the love of beef,