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Student branding class

Outside of Burley, tradition meets the classroom…

Every spring in Idaho, tens of thousands of calves have to be branded, before they can be turned out to the summer range. Future Farmers learn the ins and outs of branding.

This hands-on experience, its first-hand ranch work. The teachers divide the students into responsibilities – vaccines, brands, corralling calves, holding calves down - and give them instructions.

They learn not only the basics, but to respect and care of livestock. Sometimes students will ask if the process hurts the calves – you do hear them moo a little louder as students hold calves down. Instructors say the vaccinations are “not hurting them, it’s helping them.” The calves also get right back up and are soon reunited with their mothers as if nothing happened.

Cattle are the lifeblood of Idaho’s livestock industry and a big part of the States Ag economy.

While some of the lesson plans are traditional branding, the rest is state of the art and best management practices.

The Idaho Farm Bureau has teamed up with the FFA for years on this special classroom project.

For the Voice of Idaho Agriculture, I'm Joel Benson.