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Student Spotlight

Student Spotlight: Stephen Scala

man standing in front of "Midwest" sign

Stephen Scala used his internship with Midwest Feeders, Inc. in Ingalls, Kansas, to learn about different types of cattle operations that do not exist in North Carolina.

“When I first started at Midwest Feeders, I was amazed at how they can feed 90,000 cows three times a day,” Scala said. “I thought it was amazing because you don’t see these kinds of operations back home in North Carolina. I expected it would take a lot more help and employees than it did. The employees were great at completing their tasks so these cows can gain what they need.”

cows in a pen on a sunny day

Scala, a second-year Ag Business Management student minoring in Animal Science, worked on a variety of projects during his internship. His time was split into two-week sections, between maintenance, feeding, feed mill, cowboy crew and managing. His time in the feed mill was especially interesting to him.

“This is where the magic happens,” he said. “We take whole kernel corn, clean the corn, steam the corn and press the corn in a machine that makes corn flakes, which we add to the different rations the cattle eat. The weight of the cattle and where they come from determines what ratio they get.”

Scala had a lot to share about his experience with Midwest Feeders and what he learned from it.

“I have gained a lot of knowledge on how this industry works,” he said. “I learned different signs to look for to recognize sick cattle, how employees flake corn and add them to rations, and good business skills for an operation this size. I can take some of the things I have learned back home to my family’s farm to make it easier on producers like Midwest Feeders.”

Scala advises future student interns not to be afraid to ask questions. “This is how you learn and absorb information,” he said. “Have fun and enjoy it!”