Student tests cattle feed for Career Center project

LISBON – When farmers choose what to feed their young cattle there are a lot of choices. One student in the Columbiana County Career and Technical Center’s Veterinary Science Technology program decided to test two such products as part of her senior project.

Darrell Bevelhymer, who has taught the class for eight years, went over Whitney Stear’s project with the CTC board. All seniors at the career center are expected to complete a senior project, presented in early March.

Stear, who comes to the CTC from Crestview, conducted a feed trial. She took two feeder calves born on the same day, began feeding them the same whole milk for the same amount of time and then began them on two different types of pellets on the same date to see how well the calves would do on the two types of feed, checking them along the way for weight gain and muscle make up. The idea is to determine which steer will produce the best meat.

An employee at Unkefer Dairy, Stear managed to pay for all her own feed to care for her two calves. She began planning her senior project the summer before and Bevelhymer held the project up as an example of the type of work he likes to see from his students, who he gets to work with their junior and senior years of high school. Each class has between 17 and 20 students, who get hands on experience with animals and technology equipment, participate in Future Farmers of America and learn many aspects of veterinarian care, as well as the people skills veterinarian offices are looking for in new employees.

Bevelhymer said students do not always realize all the opportunities available to them when they begin working with animals and learn to deal with people who care about animals. A project like the senior project helps students see just what they can achieve.

He is also working with different programs to try to get more credits for his students or a jump toward more technical and college programs. He brings back some graduates of the program to help students see just what they have the potential to achieve.

As for Stear, Bevelhymer said she is planning to go to the Ohio State Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster next year, studying animal nutrition and agricultural engineering.