May 1, 2007
Cowley agriculture students tour facilities
in Western Kansas
Students in Cowley College’s agriculture program recently toured three facilities in Western Kansas during a field trip conducted on April 18.
Brett Butler, Cowley College agriculture instructor, along with Cowley adjunct instructor Jenni Carr, took five Cowley students on the field trip, which consisted of stops at the Hi-Plains Dairy in Plains, the Five Rivers Cattle Feeding/Grant County Feeders in Ulysses, and the Johnson Farms in Ulysses.
According to Carr, who teaches Crop Science and Animal Nutrition at Cowley, the purpose of the trip was to give the students an opportunity to experience different types of agriculture.
“We had very good, informative tour guides,” Carr said. “The students learned a lot.”
The students were also able to gain information about internships and employment opportunities available with the companies.
“Every place we went to stressed the importance of getting a college education,” Carr said.
Ken Koehn, manager of Hi-Plains Dairy, conducted the tour of the company’s facility. Hi-Plains Dairy milks 2,800 cows two times a day, the milking system is run by Mechatronics.
The group then traveled to Five Rivers Cattle Feeding/Grant County Feeders in Ulysses, where they were given a tour by assistant manager Mike Jacobson, feed foreman Joe Noriega, and mill manager Doug Morris.
The feedlot has 90 employees and 105,000 head of cattle. The dollar value of cattle inventory is currently $100 million. The group toured the animal health/husbandry and receiving/processing areas of the feed yard. They were informed on the importance of uniform cattle when sent to the packinghouse.
They also toured the feed mill and animal feeding side of the feed yard.
“We talked about how they process their grain and how much grain they use,” Carr said. “We have been working on that information in the animal nutrition class. The students also got to look at the animal health side of the livestock industry.”
The group concluded its field trip by touring Johnson Farms. The tour was conducted by co-owners David Johnson and Jerry Borthwick. Jim Halling, a CropQuest Agronomist, also helped with the tour of the farming operation, which consists of over 10,000 acres of irrigated corn, irrigated wheat, and dry land.
The group was informed on the changes in farming over the past 65 years in Western Kansas. They also learned about the use of GPS and computer systems in equipment to control overspray, chemical wastage, decrease overlap in tillage to save energy, time, money and moisture. They also heard about the use of zone till, no till, strip till and other conservation practices in use.
Union State Bank purchased meals for everyone that went on the field trip.
Students attending were: Emily Magnus, Cody Boyer, Dan Pipes, Darren Mora, and Nathan Sauzek.