Friday, June 22, 2012

MIssissippi Junior Cattleman come to campus - Part 1

This week, Mississippi Junior Cattleman's members came to campus for a 3-day event called "Making Tracks". "Making Tracks" is an event that is held annually in conjunction with Mississippi State Animal and Dairy Science Department and the Mississippi Cattleman's Foundation. While on campus, the junior cattleman have the opportunity to attend an array of workshops ranging from reproduction to parliamentary procedure and livestock judging. They also participate in a variety of activities including a burger grilling cook-off, cattle sorting competition and farm olympics. Events such as these provide valuable opportunities for youth to get to know other fellow cattleman as well as network and build connections with industry leaders.
I had the opportunity to interact with the junior cattleman in two of the workshops, one of which they learned the technique of blood sampling and about a current heifer development research project being conducted and State; the other was a workshop on Artificial Insemination.
The heifer development research project they learned about was the project I have been working on along with one of the professors at State. You can learn the details about that project in my last post, Summer Research.
Blood sampling is a very useful technique for the junior cattleman to learn because it is a tool they can take home and apply in their own herd. I briefly mentioned in Summer Research that blood sampling can be used for pregnancy detection in cattle. One of the cool things about using a blood sample is that it is a less invasive than other methods such as rectal palpation. In rectal palpation, a veterinarian inserts his hand into the rectum of the cow and uses his finger tips to feel for a fetus. With this method, especially in the first 45 days of pregnancy, there is always a slim possibility that the fetus could be damaged and result in an abortion. Blood sampling can be conducted as early as 28 days post breeding, where as it takes a very experienced technician to diagnose a pregnancy by rectal palpation 35 days post breeding.

Here are some pictures of the junior cattleman learning how to collect blood samples -

Dr. Karisch explaining how the blood collection tubes work.

Blood entering the tube.


It was hot out but they still had a great time!


Janet said...

Looks like fun! Glad you are getting so involved in everything! Hope summer is treating you well!!!

Lyndi said...

I am having a blast! Summer is going great. It's starting to get hot and humid out... Hope you all are doing good :) Have fun getting ready for fair. Can't wait to see Ally's pictures!