Agriculture students tour packing plants and feedlots

Several Fort Hays State University agriculture students traveled to Dodge City to tour packing plants and feed yards on Oct. 30.

Dr. Brittany Howell, associate professor of agriculture, took the Feedlot Technology and Management class to National Beef, Boot Hill Feeders and Midwest Feeders to learn about the processes.

"I think the students got to see all different phases of the process from beginning to end," said Howell. "The trip really helps the students better understand my class."

Dodge City is sometimes called the meat packing capital of the United States, with close to 11,000 cattle being processed a day.

"We got to tour National Beef. It's amazing how at they can slaughter 6,000 head a day," said Lacey Shapland, Dighton senior. "I also found it interesting that at Boot Hill Feeders, they could deal with a lot of high-risk calves."

"It was interesting to watch everyone at work," said Kyle Baade, Jansen, Neb., senior. "We got to see the whole nine yards. They would bring down the meat on a conveyor belt and the laborers all knew which specific job they had and what part of the cow they were supposed to cut. It was really efficient and neat to see them all in action with their sharp knifes and protective metal vests."

Students are listed by hometown.

DIGHTON: Lacey Shapland, senior.
ELLSWORTH: Joshua Ranker, senior.
GAYLORD: Andrea Wilson, senior.
HUGOTON: Nick Martin, senior.
JANSEN, Neb.: Kyle Baade, senior.
LA CROSSE: Amanda Strunk-Mendoza, senior.
MINDEN, Neb.: Kirk Nielsen, junior.
MOUNDRIDGE: Bridget Brown, junior.
PAWNEE ROCK: Scott Schmidt, senior.
SYRACUSE: Brent Parks, senior.
VONA, Colo.: Naomi Bancroft, junior.
WESKAN: Sage Sexson, senior.

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