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New Mexico rangelands are typically deficient in several key minerals during various parts of the year. As such, New Mexico livestock producers pay close attention to their mineral supplementation program. During educational programs with producers, questions regarding mineral consumption frequently arise. Currently, the only method to supplement mineral to cattle is to place mineral in bulk feeders where the entire herd has access to consume mineral. However, there is very little to no information regarding the percentage of the herd that consumes mineral, how frequently they consume mineral, how much individual animals consume, and if there are health problems or other detrimental consequences for animals who consume too little mineral.

Thus, NMSU Department of Extension Animal Sciences and Natural Resources M.S. graduate student, Shiann Burns, under the guidance of Dr. Craig Gifford are developing mineral feeders to quantify individual animal intake of mineral supplements on New Mexico's rangelands. As a component of the feeder, Arlyn Scales has graciously donated an Ultra Precision Scale with Super Sensitivity and Surface Acoustic Wave Technology. Arlyn Scales, a leader in the design and development of weighing technology. The digital Ultra Precision Scale provides greater accuracy, sensitivity and stability than regular scales, the company explains.

Arnold Gordon (Arnie), Owner & CEO of Arlyn Scales, says the small business was glad to donate the instrument to NMSU. "We want to give back to the community by supporting the young minds of today and the future."

Information from this research will provide New Mexico beef producers with more information regarding mineral consumption behavior in range cattle and identify production losses that occur as a consequence of insufficient mineral consumption. In addition, companies in the mineral industry are anxious to work with NMSU to utilize these mineral feeders to test emerging technology relative to cattle mineral supplementation.