By: Victoria Luu, John Hurst, Yevin Kim, Habiba Feroze, and Catherine Salamone
The end of the third week of Governor’s School is rapidly approaching and the Governor’s School of Agriculture has been bustling with activity. This week has been crunch time, riddled with group project deadlines and classes.
This week we started our elective and major classes. Elective classes included Sustainable Agriculture, Veterinary Medicine, Oncology, Computer Science, Animal Reproduction. Sustainable Agriculture took a beautiful ride up to Catawba Sustainability Center where students were able to learn about different sustainability projects that are being held there. Veterinary Medicine had several different professionals came in and gave the students a glance at what their field is like. Oncology students listened to lectures about cancer and treatments and they were also able to practice stitching in the lab. Computer Science learned how to code and solve problems with the help of programs. Animal Reproduction had a lot of hands on activity where they got to dissect cow testicles and other organs of different animals.
We also started our major classes. Plant science learned about propagation, pests, and the newest technology available to create plants needed. They were also able to plant flowers from seeds as well as propagation. Animal Science has been out in Kentland Farms learning how to do various tasks like collecting sperm from a horse and using a thermometer on a cow. Food Science were able to try MREs, which is military food. Agricultural Economics had many heated debates in the classroom on some controversial topics. Agricultural Engineering followed an underground stream and tested water samples in a watershed.
Though everyone has been working hard and learning lots, we didn’t forget to make time for fun, which is what summer is all about.
Yesterday, right after dinner, 99 students took a trip to “3 Birds Berry Farm,” a quaint, family-owned farm. After trudging down the steep slope in front of Berry Hill, each of us were given a pint-sized cardboard box to fill up. Although the pint-sized containers seemed pretty big at first, we soon found out that berry picking was a lot more fun than any of us expected. We were able to pick blueberries and blackberries.
By: Seena Hornarvar, Joyce Kuo, Monika Grabowska, Lucia Lu, and Alison Bryant
The third week has begun at the Virginia Governor’s school for Agriculture, and the students are now taking courses in their various majors: Plant Science, Animal Science, Agricultural Engineering, Agricultural Economics, and Food Science.
Not only did the economics class veer into gender roles, but earlier the class even discussed the collapse of 2008. Quickly, the students moved from simple supply and demand to the complex workings of the economy with its subprime loans, securities, and stock crashes. But even despite quickly varying topics with different implications, Dr. Mike Ellerbrock handled the topics with excellence and related them back to economics. Economics definitely is everywhere.
In Engineering, students visited the nearby Stroubles Creek to learn about Biological Systems Engineering (BSE) at
This week in Animal Science has been a blast! everyone in the major has had the opportunity to get up close and (very) personal with the horses and cattle that are located on Virginia Tech’s campus. The first day everyone was able to have a chance to get an in depth look into the reproductive system of a cow and sow. After, we were able to get a look at what the rest of the week had in store for us! The next day we made our way to the horse ranch and gathered up in the loft of the barn to watch the handlers collect a stallion. We were able to watch how they teased the mare and stallion and the process that they used to safely collect the stallion without injuring him or the handlers. The process went by quick and easy, and within a few minutes one of the handlers set up a slide from the collection and we were able to take turns looking into the microscope. Wednesday, everyone went over to the beef cattle farm and certain volunteers from the group had the opportunity to try and herd one of the steers away from the herd. A couple of other volunteers were able to check the temperature and the heart rate of one of the steers that was herded into the chute. On Thursday, the group went back to the beef cattle farm and were taught how to identify different body types of the steers they had and we also had the chance to watch an ultrasound be performed on a steer. The whole process that they did was incredibly interesting and we could see exactly how big or small the rib-eye would be on that certain steer.