Information Possibly Outdated
The information presented on this page was originally released on August 18, 2011. It may not be outdated, but please search our site for more current information. If you plan to quote or reference this information in a publication, please check with the Extension specialist or author before proceeding.
MSU 'teams' earn national rankings
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University’s football team members recently found out they are not the only ones on campus with a national ranking and that representing the “cow college” is a special honor.
MSU’s Bulldogs, ranked No. 20 in the preseason USA Today Coaches’ Poll, will kick-off their 2011 season in Memphis on Sept. 1. MSU’s Jersey herd, on the other hand, is ranked No. 7 by the American Jersey Cattle Association for 2010 milk production.
Trent Smith, assistant professor of animal and dairy science, helped organize the first annual “Beefin’ up the Bulldogs” event at the Mississippi Horse Park on the university’s South Farm. Players took part in a steak supper and activities promoting MSU’s land-grant heritage.
“We wanted the players to learn more about the university they represent and the cattle industries that support MSU,” Smith said. “They can be proud to be from a ‘cow college’.”
Sponsors of the event included First South Farm Credit, the Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association, the Mississippi Beef Council, MSU’s Animal and Dairy Sciences Department and the Mississippi Horse Park.
Following the meal, players were invited to participate in a friendly hay bale toss competition. Some players even learned how to milk a cow. They were enthusiastic about being around the farm, and many asked questions about the differences between beef and dairy cattle.
Coach Dan Mullen said players enjoyed the event and the break during two-a-day practices. Even Mullen milked a cow for his first time.
“It’s great to come out and see this side of the university and the people who support us so much,” Mullen said.
Terry Kiser, head of animal and dairy sciences, encouraged the players to let the ringing of cowbells throughout the season remind them of the evening’s activities and the cattle industry that supports them.
“We have a lot of world-class research going on in the research pastures near your practice field. You have a lot to be proud of here at your university,” Kiser said.
Sammy Blossom, executive vice president of the MCA, said many of the state’s 17,000 cattle producers are supporters of collegiate football, and beef is a favorite at tailgating events.
“This event seemed like a great way to introduce the players to the industry that provided them with a delicious 16-ounce steak and all the trimmings,” Blossom said.