Marion County 4-H families tour Countryside Feeds

Marion County 4-H families got to tour Countryside Feeds in Hillsboro and learn about livestock feed. They even got to create their own rations and learn the importance of measuring feed by weight rather than volume.

15 4-H Families from across the Chisholm Trail Extension District (Marion and Dickinson Counties) recently attended a Feed Mill Tour and Educational Workshop at Countryside Feed.

Countryside Feeds, Ration Formulation Specialist Tara Bina initiated the workshop covering the seven Nutrients animals need, additionally covering some goal setting to match 4-H Livestock Projects. This

involved calculating average daily gains for different livestock species that the 4-H members may be involved in. The attendees were then broken into two groups – one group stayed with Bina and Countryside Feeds Sales Representative Clint Lanning for some feedstuff identification and information on how to read a feed tag while the other group joined Countryside Feeds Mill Managers JT Gehling and Matt Lichti for a tour of the feed mill.

Lanning and Bina had several samples of feedstuffs commonly used in the mill. The kids were asked to identify the samples and which nutrient group they belonged to. The kids smelled the samples as well, which resulted in a wide variety of reactions. The Alfalfa Pellets and Dried Distillers Grains were more sweet smelling and favored by the kids while Cottonseed Meal was less desired. Information regarding feed tags was covered and was kind of compared to the nutrition labels found on many food products found in the grocery store.

The feed mill tour included a walk through the warehouse where over 5,000 ingredients are stored.

Attendees saw the automated bagging machine that fills feed bags with an accurate weight, sews the bags shut with a feed tag and stacks them on a pallet. The entire mill was shut down for the tour, but attendees could visualize how the process worked. Gehling pointed out the pellet mill and how it worked, including the various screens they had to produce different-sized pellets. Attendees got to see the 6,000 lb capacity mixer and the control room where all the feed ingredients are tracked from the warehouse floor and storage to the mixer and into load-out bins where feed can be loaded onto trucks.

At full efficiency, the mill could produce over 1 million pounds of feed in a day.

Bina wrapped up the workshop with a ration formulation activity. The 4-Hers were divided into three groups with different rations they had to create. Like a recipe – the ration included ingredients in different amounts. Upon completion of the ration, she asked for the total weights of their ration and highlighted the importance of measuring feed by weight rather than volume. The kids seemed to understand that pretzels and popcorn would weigh less than peanuts or M&Ms in the same volume.

The event wrapped up with a meal.

More from Hillsboro Free Press
Area Golf Roundup (April 21, 2010)
The Hillsboro High golf team placed 12th among 13 teams at the...
Read More