2009 Spartan Innovator Award presented to Lake City Experiment Station

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Doug Carmichael (right), manager of the Lake City Experiment Station, accepts the 2009 Spartan Innovator Award from Ben Darling. (view larger image)

Using lasers to measure cattle earned the staff members of the Lake City Experiment Station the 2009 Spartan Innovator Award at the 29th annual Farm Managers’ Seminar.

The innovative project uses a laser level and adjustable scale to obtain cattle hip heights without upsetting the animals and also saves time in the chute.

“When we did hip heights at Lake City, we always used the industry standard—a perpendicular ruler placed on the floor beside the 6- to 8-month old calf,” explained Doug Carmichael, Lake City manager. “The ruler is placed beside and laid on top of the hips of each animal. Since most calves have very little contact with people, they tend to move, jump and raise their backs when something is placed on them. I built a sliding scale that stands a couple of feet from the calf and a laser level that gives us the measurement without touching the calf.”

The Spartan Innovator Award recognizes outstanding efforts, positive contributions and achievements in the field by farm, station and property staff members to meet the ever-changing and growing challenges associated with regulations, safety, technology, research and funding.

“We have many conscientious, creative and talented people in the MSU/MAES farm, station and property family,” said Ben Darling, assistant director of the Land Management Office. “This award is one small way to let them know that we notice and appreciate what they are doing and that it truly does make a difference. Through the recognition process, numerous ideas and concepts are demonstrated for all the farm, station and property managers, enhancing their ability to solve common challenges and issues.”

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