Student-Managed Farm (SMF) - Commercial Beef SMF
The unit’s goal is to produce a consistent black calf crop. However, the team has experimented with terminal crossbreeding to compare the difference between breeds as well as hybrid vigour.
In cooperation with faculty and farm staff, students make the majority of the management decisions about the herd.
Team members work within a specific subgroup such as production or marketing. All are part of weekly meetings as well as hands-on activities ranging from calving to showing cattle .
Leadership roles include unit manager, nutrition manager, finance manager, market analyst and public relations.
Some of the unit’s responsibilities are:
- ration balancing
- breakeven analysis
- marketing decisions
- health protocols
Marketing also takes the unit beyond the college farm. Teams have entered heifers in Farmfair (Edmonton) and Agribition (Regina) commercial pen shows. The team claimed both 2012 and 2013 grand champion futurity bred heifer titles at Agribition.
Reports and final presentations provide a framework for the next year’s SMF unit. Splitting the beef unit into commercial and purebred teams came from a recommendation by the 2011-12 beef team.