Wednesday, March 14, 2018

High School Students Join 2018 CVTC Ag Skills Event

Field trip includes farm show, competition, tours

Article Photo - High School Students Join 2018 CVTC Ag Skills Event

Cadott High School Senior Vanessa Hanson reaches inside a bovine reproduction system simulator during the Ag Skills Competition at Chippewa Valley Technical College March 6.

With a long plastic sleeve over her arm, Cadott High School senior Vanessa Hanson reached into the back end of a cow, all the way up to her shoulder. This time, it was just a simulator at the Chippewa Valley Technical College Energy Education Center during the annual Ag Skills Competition, but Hanson is prepared for the real thing.

“I want to be a veterinarian, so most likely I will do that for real,” she said.

Hanson was one of 97 students from 10 high schools attending the March 6 Ag Skills Competition, which included tours of CVTC’s Energy Education Center where the college agriculture programs are housed, interaction with CVTC students in agriculture programs, and a trip to the nearby Eau Claire Farm Show.

CVTC holds the Ag Skills competition each year so high school students from a wide area can come to Eau Claire for a day of ag education. The dairy competition involves teams of students completing tasks at multiple stations, like evaluating feed rations, determining a proper medicinal dosage for a cow, and identifying common animal science tools. There were also competitions in agronomy and floriculture.

A Menomonie team finished first in the dairy competition, with Cornell second and Arcadia and Menomonie teams tied for third. Stanley-Boyd students Katie Swope, Mckenna Endvick and Adrian Taylor swept the first three spots in the florticulture competition. In the Agronomy contest, Kaden Bowman of Osseo-Fairchild was first, with Stanley-Boyd students Ben Milas and Taylor Licht tied for second and Cordell Black of Menomonie fourth.

“This goes hand-in-hand with all the dual credit agreements we have in agriculture classes with our partner high schools,” said CVTC Dean of Agriculture, Energy and Transportation Adam Wehling. “And we want to get the students to our campus so they can see what we have to offer.”

“This is a great partnership with CVTC and the local high schools,” said CVTC Animal Science Instructor Adam Zwiefelhofer. “These are our future students. It gives them a quick snapshot of what we do on a daily basis. It allows them to get to know the faculty.”

Zwiefelhofer acknowledged that the competition encourages students to consider furthering their education in agriculture and is a great recruiting tool for CVTC, but it’s also about learning and sharpening knowledge and skills in agriculture.

“It’s for artificial insemination,” Hanson said of her adventure inside the simulated reproductive tract. “You go through the uterus and try to find the ovarian follicle. We just went through this in our class, but not as advanced as this – they’re not kidding about having to use your whole arm.”

“We’re determining which feed supply is best for milking cows,” Brandon Dirks of Stanley-Boyd High School said at another station where students examined data provided. “You send feed sample to a nutritionist and they tell you how much protein, minerals and stuff are in it and that tells you which one is the best ration. My dad feeds our cows, so I know most of this stuff already.”

At another station, students had to match the feed to different categories of livestock.

“We’re analyzing three samples of feed and three examples of heifers, dry cows and lactating cows,” said Robert Fasbender of Cornell. “We’re determining what feed is best for which group.”

Other schools taking part in the competition were Gilman, Loyal, and Eleva-Strum.

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