Each semester my lab mate, Katie, and I help teach the livestock reproduction lab. Our lab is unique from many universities because the students have the opportunity to learn the technique of artificial insemination (A.I.) and practice weekly for a semester. The process of A.I. includes inserting an A.I. gun or rod into the vagina and through the cervix so the semen can be deposited into the uterine body. The millions of sperm eventually travel up the horns and to the ampulla of the oviduct where the sperm will meet the egg and one lucky little guy will fertilize it. Many of these students are in the pre-veterinary program but many not necessarily have a livestock background. For the students that have limited to no experience working around livestock, this gives them hours of hands-on experience prior to applying and entering the veterinary program. For students that come from a ranch background, it gives them the opportunity to learn the technique, become proficient at it and apply it in their own herds back home.
The first day starts the same every semester with the students trying to find the cervix in the cow. As we get further into the semester, they transition from the hesitancy they experience on the first day to successfully artificially inseminating a cow! This is the part I enjoy the most, when you see that lightbulb go off and the student succeeds. For those of you that are familiar with A.I., you know that it is something that requires a lot of patience and practice before being successful. When learning, it can be extremely frustrating so I get to do lots of preaching on patience!
|Here is one of the students on the first day!|