Taking Education Beyond the Classroom

Published on Wed, 04/10/2019 - 9:59am

 Taking Education Beyond the Classroom

 Article and photos courtesy of Missouri State University

 The Missouri State University Darr College of Agriculture has had immense success the past few years with their Beef Marketing Team. The team competes with Hereford cattle raised by Journagan Ranch, the biggest facility owned by the university.

Journagan Ranch encompasses over 3,300 acres and 1,000 head of Hereford cattle. The ranch was donated to the Darr College of Agriculture in 2010 by the Leo Journagan family. The gift gave limitless opportunities for hands-on experiences for Missouri State students, including the chance to train and show the cattle at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado.
Marty Lueck, Journagan Ranch manager, and Justin Sissel, farm operations manager, facilitate the Missouri State Beef Marketing Team. The team has been to the National Western the past four years and have come home division winners every time. The students are involved in every step to prepare the cattle each year.
“We try to bring the elite of the heifers we raise into this beef marketing team,” Lueck said. “In the summer we go through our heifers and try to pick out three that are similar in phenotype. Then the students bring them from Journagan to the Darr Beef Center to get them halter broke, work their hair and get used to being around them.”
The goal of this program is more than teaching students how to show cattle. Students learn how to be marketable and confident in themselves.
“What I’m trying to do is teach these students how to market their animals,” Lueck said. “Marketing has to do with meeting someone, introducing yourself, finding common ground and trying to make the sale. A lot of our students haven’t had that kind of experience. I create a notebook for them to use as a tool to study and talk with potential customers just like they would study for a course. The test is to see if they can get them marketed and sold.”