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Area students complete TCFA Feedyard Technician Program

Texas Cattle Feeders Association, in collaboration with West Texas A&M University and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, presented 30 area high school students a certificate and vest for completing the Cattle Care & Handling portion of the Feedyard Technician Certification Program April 26-27 at West Texas A&M University’s Stanley Schaeffer Agriculture Education Learning Lab.

Students from Friona who graduated from the program were Edwin Garcia, Carlos Prieto, and Luis Trejo.

WTAMU students who are obtaining a degree in Agriculture Education tested the Feedyard Technician program participants on important cattle care skills, such as pharmaceutical knowledge and proper administration and implanting technique and accuracy. The students were trained on Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) cattle handling skills in a seminar at either Bartlett I Feedyard on April 19, Dawn Custom Cattle Feeders on April 20 or Cactus Feedyard on April 21 depending on the location of each school.

To complete the certification process, the students were tested over their skills with a written exam. They were also interviewed by TCFA and feedyard industry officials on topics covered in the training.

Completion of this certification program enables students to be better prepared to obtain employment within a feedyard with a basic understanding of the knowledge and skills necessary to be an asset to the operation.

Students in the program are identified by their Agricultural Science Teacher, feedyard managers or have expressed interest to be accepted into the program. They should be enrolled in at least one high school agricultural class each semester, participate in extra-curricular activities such as FFA and have a supervised agricultural experience project.

Individuals who work in the fed beef industry have one of the most important jobs in the world – to produce food for a growing domestic and global population. The vitality of having young people with a desire to work in a feedyard setting, especially in the TCFA-area of Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico where 28 percent of the nation’s beef is produced, is crucial in the future success of the industry.