Week Three is MAJOR Fun

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After a weekend of fun activities, the students returned to the classroom for morning classes. The day began with a strengths and leadership class, and for the first time this month, the students split into different electives. They performed dissections in a Animal Reproduction class, learned about proper care for domesticated animals, and discussed critical thinking skills. The last classes of the day were designated for specific majors. The plant science major learned about the wondrous world of turf grass or “plastic grass.”  At the equestrian center, the animal science major observed the process of artificial insemination, viewed sperm through a light microscope, and visited the foaling barns. During food science, the students played a bingo game exposing them to the thirty technologies for a hamburger. Exploring the campus with GPS’s, the Agricultural engineering students mapped and tracked their routes using Google Maps. In their afternoon class, the agricultural economics students discussed varying marketing tactics including direct marketing and target marketing. Overall, it was a great start to the first week of individualized classes!

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David Adams, WonSouk Choi, Megan Thomas, Truc Bui, Carlene Uzel

Week Two is Already Over!

Week two is already over, and it’s been a great time! Week two flew by, and we learned so much. Our classes this past week involved learning about horticulture, and animal sciences. We took a field trip to the Virginia Tech Horticulture Gardens, and took a tour around the gardens. Our tour guides showed us the ponds with different sized fish, and they were very beautiful. We got in touch with our nature side. The next day, we got to experience and visit all the different livestock farms on Virginia Tech, like sheep, cows, horses, and pigs. We even got to see a pig give birth! It was very convenient or inconvenient timing. We all learned about the different types of animals and their different use in agriculture. Both of these field trips were able to get in touch with the many aspects of agriculture and interested many of the different students.

Our week hasn’t just been all work, and we ended it with a bunch of fun. Saturday night, we went to Christiansburg for midnight bowling. We all dressed up in white or neon colors, and they looked really cool with the black lights. Sunday we went to the movies. Some of us saw Despicable Me 2, and a few saw The Lone Ranger. It hasn’t been all work and no play. A handful of kids also decided to do the “Vermonster” at Ben and Jerry’s. It is 20 scoops of ice-cream, and a grand total of 14,000 calories. All of that was consumed after eating at Red Robin. We’ve had fun, and we’re all excited to see what week three holds for us.

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Reyna Smith, Christopher Suh, Jessica Metter, Kelly Henry, Ki Wan Kim

Animal Farm

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After learning about animals through text and in class, we were finally able to go see the actual animals! Fortunately, on Friday morning rain wasn’t falling. First, we went straight to the horses. A friendly brown mare named Brownie greeted us when we first arrived, and we learned about how horses foaled. We continued our animal adventure, and were greeted by an unpleasant odor as we opened the van doors; the next animals on the agenda were pigs. We split up into two groups as we visited the pens of the sows, barrows, and the nurseries where piglets were kept. The first group was very lucky to see the birth of some piglets! We learned that baby pigs are born with very little fat, so they have to be kept warm by a heat lamp.

 

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Next, we drove to go see some cattle. We saw different breeds of cattle including Angus, Charolais, and Simmental. They often breed Simmental and Angus cows to give Simmental cows the black hide that consumers prefer over white or smoky brown. Our last trip was to the sheep center, and the demonstration of herding sheep was very interesting as sheep are very timid animals and are easily frightened. The animal adventures were entertaining as well as informative, and we learned so much more than sitting in a classroom and learning about animals on Powerpoint slides!

 

Hilary Oh, Rachel Hand, Bobby Goriparthi, Nazeb Kabir, Harsha Dindigal

Horses, Pigs, Cows, and Sheep…oh my!

After an evening of picking blueberries and raspberries Thursday night, we ventured into the land of the unknown this morning: the barns. As we caravanned from facility to facility, we examined species large and small for all types of production: breeding, meat, wool etc. Starting out at the Smithfield Horse center we meet horses young and old, a welcome experience for avid horsemen and first-timers alike. Next, we ventured into the odiferous world of the Swine center where we watched live piglet births and learned about swine production from beginning to end. From there we ventured into the diverse world of the Beef Production. While at the VT Beef Barn we saw several beef cattle varieties: Angus, Charolais, Hereford, Simmental, and a few cross breeds. Many students were very excited to pet the friendly Heifers as the approached from afar. Our day concluded with the Copenhagen Sheep Center where we watched sheep herding, saw a llama named Wizard, and got an in depth look into “foot-rot” in sheep. 

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By: Patrick Kelly, Milin Patel, Ella Rak, Kevin Han, Jennifer Hwang