Appreciating the Semex Kansas State University Experience

October 28, 2016 4:31 pm

Laura Hollingsworth reflects on her time at Kansas State University.

My recent experience as the Kansas State University scholar was by far the most worthwhile educational experience I have ever had. As a commercial beef cattle producer from Glen Innes, NSW, I gained a huge amount from the opportunity I was afforded by Angus Australia. The opportunity to study at a tertiary level at one of the leading agricultural schools in America was excellent.

I focussed my study program around commercial cattle production including visual assessment, heifer development, staff management and leadership, forage identification and development, breeding, and animal health. This has greatly increased my knowledge in these areas and has also equipped me with the skills and resources to continue developing my knowledge.

I developed some great relationships with my lecturers at K-State, particularly Dr’s Dave Nichols, Larry Corah and KC Olson. I have kept in touch with these men and feel very fortunate to have met such knowledgeable and experienced cattlemen.

Whilst in the US, I was quite proactive in contacting ranchers and businesses to learn from their operations. I visited dozens and dozens of commercial ranches and seedstock producers who were each so forthcoming with their help in sharing their knowledge and industry insights.

The American ranchers were incredibly hospitable and I will always remember their generosity to me as a visitor to their country. One of the most beneficial aspects of my trip to the US was the relationships I developed with other cattle producers, many of which I now maintain contact with as resources and mentors.

I was very fortunate to share part of my time in Kansas with previous scholarship winner Nick Boshammer who was an excellent resource and friend to me whilst in the US. Nick’s help and support during my time in Manhattan allowed me to make the most of my experience.

I would like to thank Semex, Angus Australia and Kansas State University for the opportunity I received, as well as Bob Dent for encouraging me to apply. I would also like to thank my father Butch and my brother Dan for encouraging me to take this opportunity and allowing me to take four months off work to travel to the US. I will always be thankful for this opportunity which has served to foster my commitment to the Australian beef cattle industry, and am excited about the possibilities within our industry and my small role in it into the future.

Top Image: Laura Hollingsworth pictured with Gaylon Fink of Fink Beef Genetics, Kansas.