Texas FFA News  
Canyon FFA Member Discovers Passion for the Science of Dairy Nutrition    
Thursday, January 16, 2020 | Author: Natalie Boyd, Texas FFA News Staff

Canyon FFA member Emily Thurman has turned her interest in dairy nutrition into a successful Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) and part-time job.  

When Thurman’s father, a nutritionist for Dairy Nutrition Management Consulting (DNMC), noticed her increasing curiosity in the work he was doing, he quickly made her an offer to help further explore her interest. 

“My dad [and DNMC] provided me with the opportunity to start collecting data from samples,” said Thurman. “I was immediately set on it as soon as my ag teacher told me it could be a project that I could carry out throughout my four years in high school.”

Collecting data was Thurman’s main responsibility. 

“I would take a scoop of fresh manure and pour it into a pan with a screen bottom,” said Thurman. “I then rinsed the manure with water to clean off the excess waste which left particles of the ration which showed what was digested well or what needed to be changed.”

The data was then given to an employee of DNMC to analyze. They would then make changes or improvements to the rations created for each pen. 

“I quickly noticed how interested I was in the science,” said Thurman. “The processes of figuring out how to get the maximum amount of milk while keeping the cows healthy.”

In addition to discovering a new passion, the success of Thurman’s project 
was recognized as the 2019 Texas FFA proficiency winner and a National FFA finalist in Agriculture Services.

“It began as quality time with my dad, but little did I know how much it would influence the rest of my life,” Thurman said.

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