Northwest Iowa Beef Bonanza
The 2016 Northwest Iowa Beef Bonanza was held Saturday, Feb. 13, at the Iowa Lakes Community College in Emmetsburg. There were 60 youth represented from 10 counties including Emmet, Palo Alto, Dickinson, Kossuth, Pocahontas, Clay, Ida, and Woodbury.
The Beef Bonanza’s theme was beef nutrition and digestion. The youth learned about the cow’s stomach, which is referred to as the rumen, and its four compartments.
Mark Jensen from Iowa Lakes Community College and Dr. Dan Berkland from the Sibley Veterinary Clinic demonstrated the four compartments of the rumen and how feedstuffs travel through those four compartments as well as the rest of the digestive tract.
Beth Doran, a Beef Specialist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, and Gary Eckelberg from Ralco Feeds, taught the youth about feedstuffs in the beef industry and the importance of those feedstuffs to the beef animal. In addition, the two discussed the nutritional value of the different feedstuffs with the youth.
Amy Powell and college students from the Animal Science Department of Iowa State University did an activity with the youth about ruminant digestion, which was demonstrated with candy. They discussed ethical versus unethical situations with beef animals and decisions to make based on the situation.
The youth also learned about biosecurity and advocating for agriculture by attending the Beef Bonanza.
Youth enjoyed a delicious beef burger lunch grilled by the Palo Alto County Cattlemen.
Sponsors who helped provide this learning experience: Spencer Ag Center; United Bank of Iowa; Pro Cooperative; Jack Links; Grove Trucking, Ltd.; Farm Credit Services of America; Palo Alto County Farm Bureau; Aden Trucking Inc.; Palo Alto & Emmet County’s Cattlemen, and StateLine Cooperative.