Dr. Dale Balsi and the Importance of K-Stat’es Stocker Unit

(Jamie) Welcome to Farm Factor! Let’s join Kyle Bauer and Dr. Dale Blasi as they discuss how important K-State’s Stocker Unit is to students and producers.
(Kyle Bauer) Hi, this is Kyle Bauer. Have the opportunity to visit with Dale Blasi. Dale is with Kansas State University and specifically today I want to talk about the Stocker Unit that Kansas State has. I think a lot of people don’t realize the resource that lies just outside of Manhattan with this facility. (Dr. Dale Blasi) That’s right Kyle. The KSU Stocker Unit is located a short five miles outside of campus. Having the proximity of this resource for our undergraduate students for research and for outreach activities with our Extension core throughout the state allows our university to do things that many other universities simply don’t have the resources to do. (Kyle) When a lot of times you think about resources available and the amount of research with one or two animals but truly here you have the opportunity to do it with pen-sized units. (Dale) Yes, pen-sized units. The property itself is about 1,200 acres; more or less. And at the backgrounding/receiving facility, we have 32 pens, which allows us to bring in at any one time we conduct an experiment four semi loads of calves at a time. Our pasture resources we have that divided out into 15 different paddocks and we are moving forward in the future to go to 20 which allows us to look at several issues, topics, products on a pasture basis and allows us to drive home and obtain answers for our producers. (Kyle) Truly to bring out how important this facility is to the industry, it’s brought out by all the number of cooperating sponsors you have, people that help you get equipment that is what the industry uses. (Dale) Yes, it does feed upon itself because allied industry appreciates the fact that we are capable of bringing together large groups of producers. We entertain several tour groups throughout the year at this facility, and so be it animal handling facilities, farm machinery, animal products, what have you, it allows us to evaluate the products and help to help the producers identify workable solutions for their own operations. (Kyle) Truly, you use equipment that the industry uses but not only that; your students learn to use that equipment. (Dale) We rely very heavily on our undergraduate students. At any one time at the Stocker Unit, we may have upwards of five if not six undergraduate students who are able to come out and work in three or four-hour blocks while attending class full time. We help a lot of students who don’t have experience working in an extensive AG environment, and this facility helps them to achieve the confidence through using equipment, in following directions and learning animal management and nutrition. (Kyle) Dr. Dale Blasi, with Kansas State University, specifically Animal Science and Industry. This is Kyle Bauer reporting, back to you Jamie.
(Jamie) Thanks Kyle! Folks come back after these messages for this week’s Kansas Soybean Update.

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