- May 2018
MAFES Joe Bearden
Dairy Research Center
Years in Position: 8 mo
Years at MSU: 1 year
The next time you reach for a glass of milk or enjoy a bowl of chocolate ice cream, you might think of Carly Becker.
Becker, an assistant herder at the Joe Bearden Dairy Research Center at Mississippi State University, rises before the sun each morning to take care of cows.
“I glance over the cows and make sure everyone looks healthy. I feed the calves milk, give them water and make sure everyone has energy,” Becker said. “Depending on the day, we are moving cows to different areas of the farm, breeding, giving vaccinations, registering animals, making sure all equipment is running properly, and keeping everything clean.”
Also a master’s student in animal and dairy sciences, Becker, in study and in practice, works tirelessly for the betterment of animals.
“Farmers are the hardest working people you will ever meet. It is a 24/7 job, because the cows have to be milked -- and unfortunately they don’t celebrate birthdays or Christmas,” Becker said, laughing. “But we are passionate about what we do, making sure the cows are well-fed, comfortable and in good health.”
Becker earned her Bachelor of Science degree in animal science from the University of Kentucky.
“Every day is something new and exciting. When working with animals, the day is unpredictable, and there is always a new learning opportunity,” Becker said.
One of her favorite learning opportunities is moving calves from individual hutches to group housing, which happens once every 12 weeks.
“When the calves get off the trailer and realize they are able to run wherever they want, they all go crazy, jump around and buck their back legs. It’s pretty much the cutest thing I’ve ever seen, and it never gets old,” she said.
At the end of each day, she believes hard work, perseverance, self-motivation and flexibility pull her through early mornings and heavy labor.
“If you are determined, you will be successful,” Becker said.