Third-graders learn about beef industry
How much money a cow or steer can bring at market, how to care for the animals, what diseases to watch for, and more were presented to third-grade students from Marion and Hillsboro when their classes took advantage of an opportunity to learn about the agriculture industry by attending Marion-Florence FFA’s annual Ag Awareness Day on Friday.
Marion seniors Tyler Makovec and Jarret McLinden showed a year-and-a-half-old heifer to students and talked about raising, showing, and selling cattle.
Makovec brought his hand-raised black Angus for the students to see. Callie watched the children for a while, then turned her attention to what she loves best — eating grass.
“Her mother left her as soon as she hit the ground, so I took her in and raised her,” Makovec said.
“If you really put your efforts into it, there’s a lot of money to be made in this industry,” McLinden said.
Students learned that cattle are fed oats, range cubes, hay, and grass.
McLinden said he and Makovec raise and sell free-range cattle. Grass is the least expensive feed for cattle, so the more grass they eat, the less money needs to be spent on other food.
Cattle gain an average of three to four pounds every day, McLinden told the students.
“The heavier they are, the more weight they put on, the more money they bring,” McLinden said.
Makovec explained that sale prices vary according to market factors, meaning sometimes cattle sell for less money or more money, depending on supply and demand.
Different breeds are raised for different purposes, Makovec and McLinden told them. Angus, Hereford, and Gelbvieh are common meat breeds. Jersey, Holstein, and Brown Swiss are commonly raised for producing milk.
Cattle need about five acres each, and herds need one bull for every 25 cows, McLinden said.
They also need vaccinated against worms, external parasites, calf scour, and blackleg, and will need medical treatment if they develop rabies, pinkeye, mad cow disease, hoof and mouth disease, or malignant edema.
Last modified May 9, 2018