Thursday, February 16, 2012

It's more than evaluating livestock...

This semester, I am teaching the livestock evaluation class. It's been an entertaining semester so far to say the least! (in a good way...) I have 11 students that come from a variety of backgrounds...a few of them grew up with an agriculture background but most of them have little to no livestock experience.  The majority of the students are majoring in Animal and Dairy Science with an emphasis on Pre-Veterinary Medicine. The students background makes teaching the class really fun because we get to talk about many topics within agriculture that go beyond evaluating livestock. For instance, we have discussed the proposed child labor laws and how this would impact farmers and ranchers. We have also watched YouTube videos from several ranches that talk about how important it is to those cattle producers to make sure they are creating a safe product for consumers. My reason for doing these types of activities is because most of these students hope to be veterinarians, they will be viewed as experts in their field and in agriculture. I think it's important they know about the current topics within Ag. and the struggles the industry is faced with on a daily basis so they are prepared to answer any questions that come their way.
This past week, we went out to the beef unit where the students learned how to judge heifers and gave their first set of reasons. It will be neat to see the progress they make between now and May!

The students working on a set of reasons

Two of the Charolais heifers we judged...Snowflake and Charlotte. Yes, they have names!

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