I left Australia on the 1st of February, making my way from Brisbane to Sydney and then on to Dallas Forth Worth. After a night in Dallas, it was back to the airport of the flight to Manhattan, Kansas. It’s safe to say I didn’t know what I was getting myself in to but I had a feeling it was going to be good. Before I had even boarded my flight to Manhattan, I had met numerous ranchers, Kansas State University (K-State) students and staff, and industry people. This is also where I met Dr David Nichols, a professor and the Teaching Coordinator at K-State. This man not only made me feel comfortable and ensured everything ran smoothly for me, he also made the entire semester extremely enjoyable. He is an asset to K-State and an incredible affiliate of Angus Australia.
Throughout the semester, I had the opportunity to study a number of classes, including Cow-Calf Health, Livestock Sales Management, Beef Science, Animal Breeding, Beef Systems Management and Livestock and Meat Evaluation. The array of information and hands-on experience I was able to get during my time at K-State is second to none; there wasn’t a single class I didn’t want to attend.
One of the K-State Animal Science and Industry’s biggest events of the year is the Little American Royal, an internal livestock show. I had the opportunity to participate in the beef section through preparing and showing an Angus heifer. Although I have shown cattle before, it was a really great experience and I loved the fact that it’s a normal part of the curriculum. Another of my favourite parts of the semester was being part of the Sales class that organizes and hosts the K-State Legacy Bull Sale. Being involved in the bull sale creates such a sense of pride in the K-State cattle and I was grateful for the chance to be part of it.
K-State is known for its top class campus facilities and I was lucky enough to spend time at the Purebred Beef Unit, Stocker Unit, Cow-Calf Unit, Sheep and Goat Unit and the Dairy, whilst also being able to complete an AI school at the Kansas Artificial Breeding Services Unit.
If I wasn’t at class, I spent my time driving around the country taking in as much of the beef industry as I could, from feedyards to seedstock producers, to stockers and commercial cow-calf producers. I attended a number of bull sales, many of which I was the ‘special guest’, and was often told jokingly that the bulls would look good in Australia.
Although immersing myself in the US beef industry was an incredible experience, it was really the people who made my time in the states such a memorable experience. A big thank you is owed to Angus Australia and the American Angus Association, as well as K-State for allowing me an amazing couple of months. My passion for the beef industry has been intensified and I’ve grown a great appreciation for the US beef industry. What a remarkable opportunity – thank you Angus Australia!