Penn State students win animal science academic quadrathlon

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A team of undergraduates from Penn State University’s Block and Bridle and Dairy Science Clubs competed in the American Society of Animal Science’s (ASAS) Academic Quadrathlon competition July 7-8, at the 2017 ASAS annual meeting and Trade Show in Baltimore.

Team members were Amber Gabel Smith, Newport; Alexa LeCrone, Huntingdon; Amy Middleton, Mill Hall; and Sarah Shoup, Trout Run. They were accompanied by Ben Williamson, instructor of Animal Science.

The competition is designed to be a comprehensive academic overview of animal sciences, with a team of four working together in each of the four segments, which include a lab practicum, written exam, quiz bowl and oral presentation.

Penn State placed first in the practicum and the written exam and placed second in the quiz bowl and in the oral presentation.

They won the opportunity to represent the northeast at the American Dairy Science Association Northeast Student Affiliate contest held in Rhode Island in February.

Teams from California State University-Chico, Kansas State University and Texas Tech University also competed in the four events.

The written exam covered the comprehensive body of work students learned in their collegiate career including genetics, physiology, reproduction, nutrition, animal products and animal management. Teams had one hour to complete the test.

In the laboratory practicum, team members demonstrated their ability to perform physical skills, working at each station for 15 to 20 minutes as an entire team. Each of the eight individual activities had a different emphasis involving a species or a disciplinary area.

For the group oral presentation, teams selected one of five current topics related to animal agriculture and had one hour to prepare a 12-minute educational presentation.

The quiz bowl contained wide-ranging questions about all domestic animals, livestock and companion animals, as well as questions on nutrition, genetics, reproduction, meat science/muscle biology, physiology and lactation.

Following the competition, the students participated in the ASAS annual meeting, which is an international scientific conference with a focus on Animal Science and Technology: Ensuring Food Security.

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