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Bjelica researches average daily gain to improve pigs

By Jean Caspers-Simmet

Date Modified: 05/20/2013 9:36 AM

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AMES, Iowa —Elizabeth Bjelica, a senior at Charles City High School, not only received her Iowa FFA Degree at the recent FFA Leadership Conference in Ames, but she was also a Star in Agriscience finalist.

She raises and sells market swine and sheep for her SAE and became interested in agriscience when she weighed in some light fair pigs and was worried that they wouldn't be big enough by fair time.

"To know if I was on track for growth weight, I weighed my pigs every 10 days," Bjelica said. "I became interested in collecting data to see how they grew and what factors I could adjust to increase growth rates. Because of my records, I make decisions to produce better pigs than I did the year before."

Bjelica just finished a term as chapter president. During her FFA career she participated in job interview and team ag sales. She has also been involved in a lot of volunteer activities. Next year she will attend Iowa State University where she plans to major in agricultural business.

Bjelica said that FFA pushed her and made her grow.

"It makes me look at the bigger picture and prepare for the future," she said.

Her parents are Tom and Roxann Bjelica, and her FFA advisor is Jim Lundberg.

"Mr. Lundberg is great," she said. "I can't imagine FFA without him."

Eleven of Bjelica's classmates also received their Iowa FFA Degrees.