AMES, Iowa — Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) in Calmar, Iowa has a highly-valued Beef Science Technology program that is dedicated to providing students with hands-on opportunities to learn skills that prepare them to be successful members of today’s beef industry. The program offers a diversified education on many topics including; genetics, reproduction, nutrition, feeding, health and financial management. To top it off, their state-of-the-art Beef Science Education Center allows students to interact with livestock in a safe and efficient cattle handling system.
Although the outstanding facility met the needs of staff and students, Nate Gebel, an agricultural management instructor at NICC, had the vision to take the Beef Science Education Center to the next level. “We strived for this to be a destination site for students, producers and the community.” Gebel contacted the Iowa Beef Industry Council (IBIC) to enhance the classroom space and a mural was placed with assistance from IBIC. The mural helps visitors explore how beef gets from pasture to plate and highlights several Iowa beef farmers that contribute to the beef lifecycle. Those farms and ranches include Plowman Farms, Kennedy Cattle Company, and Triple U Ranch.
Janine Moore, IBIC Chairman adds, “The Iowa State Beef Checkoff Program is pleased to partner with NICC to showcase the beef industry and its strong commitment to future generations at the Beef Education Center. This facility will not only be used by the students who attend NICC, but area school children and their families who visit the agri-tourist attraction each year.”
This joint project brings the story of agriculture to life. It not only serves as a top-notch educational facility, but provides a space for all to gather. “This makes it an ideal location for the IBIC to showcase the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner brand, quality beef cuts, and the compelling famer’s stories who produce a quality product,” stated Chris Freland, IBIC’s Executive Director.
Dr. Liang Chee Wee, NICC’s President, shared his thanks for the collaboration, “Thank you to Iowa’s beef producers and our industry partner [IBIC] for allowing us to be a part of your life and legacy. NICC is 50 years old and we look forward to sharing your story for the next 50 years. This is just a symbol of our commitment to you.”
The event concluded with a delicious meal grilled by the Allamakee County Cattlemen.
— Kylie Peterson, Iowa Beef Industry Council
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