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Story Last modified at 8:54 p.m. on Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Michael DeTerra

Age: 2007 graduate of Chugiak High School

Hometown: Eagle River but currently living in Washington state


Michael DeTerra

In the Spotlight because: Michael DeTerra attends Washington State University studying communication with an emphasis in broadcast production. He attended Mirror Lake Middle School and became interested in broadcast production after taking part in the video news program at the middle school.

Recently, he became involved in a documentary project funded by the Beef Checkoff. DeTerra received a $3,000 grant to produce a video about cattle welfare in the Western United States. He produced a 20-minute documentary, which includes interviews from ranchers and feedlot operators in California, Oregon and Washington; DeTerra sought out an interview with Temple Grandin, a pioneer in beef-cattle handling, whose life story was featured in the 2010 Emmy-winning HBO movie, "Temple Grandin."

DeTerra and two other students were commissioned by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association to direct and produce videos on beef farming and ranching so consumers could hear about beef production from the people in the industry. The film, "The Care Package: Cattle Welfare in the West," explores what farmers and ranchers do to make sure the condition of their cattle is the best possible and shows the changes made over the past three decades to improve the animal handling process.

DeTerra is quoted on the Web site saying, "I took several environmental science classes that touched on the beef industry and focused on the welfare of certain animals. I knew there were misconceptions in the public about cattle welfare, and so I decided to investigate this further in my documentary. I was mainly interested in improving my filmmaking skills, videography and editing by challenging myself with such a huge undertaking."

To view the videos, go to or

This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, January 12, 2011.

Recommend someone your know for Spotlight