Texas FFA News  
Hico FFA Member Builds on Family's Dairy Operation Heritage    
Thursday, December 1, 2022 | Author: Texas FFA News

Carmen Kuiper's family heritage in the dairy industry led her to a successful Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE). 

"My parents both grew up on a dairy in The Netherlands and dairying has been in our family for as long as we can remember," said Kuiper. 

The Hico FFA member began as an apprentice and was tasked with handling ear tags and observing. As the years progressed, so did her responsibility. She is now in charge of ear tags and electronic identification (EID) for approximately 4,000 head at two dairy operations. 

"I spend my Saturdays working at both dairies," said Kuiper. "The records that are kept and collected from the EIDs are essential because we depend on the records to handle the cows and animal management decisions."

Technology plays a significant role in the dairy's everyday function, as well as the quarterly and yearly reports and analyses. 

"The EID helps keep accurate milk records, health records, detect mastics, identify which cows to cull, and helps employees sort cows out electronically," said Kuiper. 

The high school senior plans to attend Oklahoma State University to earn a degree in Animal Science with a concentration in production and a minor in ag economics. During that time, she hopes to intern for a feed company or take advantage of other opportunities to learn more about cattle production. 

"After that, I hope to develop my own heifer replacement raising operation and raise calves."

Kuiper's successful SAE project was recognized as the Star Lone Star in Placement at the 2022 Texas FFA State Convention.

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