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  • Vermilion Voice

A Round-Up Of Success, Experience And New Connections

The Student-Managed Farm at Vermilion’s Lakeland College – Powered by New Holland purebred, commercial beef, and equine units, saw more than 126 bids during The Round-Up sale on March 27.

Previously known as Beef Day, the student-led sale featured 14 yearling Angus bulls, five purebred replacement heifers, 12 commercial Simmental/ Angus cross heifers, which averaged $4,500 per animal, and seven registered quarter horses, which averaged $11,600 per animal.

Bobbi-Jo Foster, a second-year animal science technology (AST) student in the beef major and the purebred unit’s sales coordinator, says her team is thrilled with this year’s sale outcome despite the COVID-19 restrictions they faced.

“We moved the sale to a virtual bidding system called DLMS. We also had an appointment booking system for prospective buyers who wanted to see our animals in person. My responsibility was creating the sale catalogue with my counterpart Kord Phillips. We promoted the event as much as we could, and then during the event, we were the ones on the block talking about each purebred animal,” says Foster. Each animal was featured on the SMF units’ Facebook pages, respectively.

Since September 2020, the purebred and commercial beef units were responsible for developing their herd and selecting the ones to auction for their outstanding qualities, such as structural soundness and exceptional growth performance for the sale.

Also, the equine unit worked hard training their horses under saddle to produce versatile prospects. Their participation in The Round-Up was a welcomed and new dynamic feature.

“We pitched to the purebred and commercial beef units how our involvement in the sale could potentially benefit all of us by attracting buyers interested in both horses and bulls. We are super happy about our participation in the sale and the averages our horses brought in,” says Haley Ries, a second-year AST student in the equine major. Lakeland introduced the equine major to its AST program in 2019, and in 2020, added a unit to the SMF.

Through the SMF and other beyond-the-classroom learning opportunities like The Round-Up, students develop their skills and establish industry connections.

“The biggest benefit for me was being able to make industry connections with those big in the Black Angus breed. This experience gets my name out there. I also appreciated the opportunity to make decisions for 50 head - it’s a big responsibility that helps grow our confidence,” says Foster, who is returning to Lakeland in the fall to take the new bachelor of agriculture technology program.

Ries adds that her role as a sales coordinator for The Round-Up introduced her to those in the horse community, which has helped her to establish a small business training horses. Currently, she’s continuing the training of one of the horses that was sold during the sale.

2021 SMF Purebred Unit. Photos were taken earlier this year, following COVID-19 guidelines. Photos submitted

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