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!