Rutgers University students compete in regional animal science competition
NEWARK, Del. — Every year Rutgers’ students interested in Animal Science participate in a competition held in the Northeast region for the American Society of Animal Science and The American Dairy Science Association, known as the Northeast Student Affiliate Competition.
Rutgers hosted this competition last year with the help of Cedar Lane Farm in Califon.
This year, NESA was hosted by the University of Delaware on Feb. 24.
Rutgers, Penn State, the University of Connecticut, the University of New Hampshire, the University of Rhode Island, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, the University of Maine, and Delaware Valley University participated, with a total of 33 teams of four students apiece.
Rutgers had four teams with four students on each team for a total of 16 students participating in the three phases of the competition.
The morning of the competition started with a Livestock Judging phase at the university farm, where students judged six different livestock classes: Dairy, beef, horses, sheep, poultry, and a “surprise” class, which can be anything agriculturally related.
In past years, the surprise class ranged from Labrador Retriever dogs, dairy goats, tobacco leaves, miniature donkeys, cuts of meat, oysters, hazelnuts — even slides of live goat sperm.
This year’s surprise class was honey. Unfortunately, the students didn’t get to taste any — the jarred honey was judged solely on moisture content and visual quality!
After the judging phase, students returned to the university campus to compete in a quiz bowl phase of animal science-related questions.
Each team of four went head-to-head with another team from a different university in a bracket system until only two teams remained for the final round of questioning.
The quiz bowl questions dealt with all aspects of animal agriculture including animal physiology, anatomy, husbandry, regulations, breeds, diseases, etc. Anything is fair game.
At the same time as the quiz bowl competition, paper presentations were taking place in four different rooms set up for the third phase of the competition.
One student from each team prepared an eight-minute Power Point presentation to review an animal science research paper or topic of their choice.
The top eight presenters then presented a second time for the entire audience and a new set of judges for a chance to place first through eighth overall.
The scores for these three phases of the competition were combined for a total team score and all individual team scores were combined for an overall university Score.
The Rutgers NESA Team took home a second-place Overall Institutional finish. Awards were presented the evening of the competition at an awards banquet organized by the host university.
Below are results for individual students and teams in the different phases of the competition.
Team and Individual Awards (out of a 33 total teams and 132 individual students):
• TEAM B placed eighth overall;
• TEAM A placed ninth overall;
• TEAM B also placed eighth in Quiz Bowl;
• TEAM A also placed 10th in Quiz Bowl; and
• TEAM A placed eighth in Livestock Judging.
Ashly Kurian from Team D placed second with her presentation “Entomophagy and Food Security.”
NESA student participants were:
• Team A: Josh Corris, Veronica Useche, Emily Gussman, Rebecca Szuminsky;
• Team B: Mackenzie Matikonis, Zachary Newman, Alexandria Newman, Deanna Bullock;
• Team C: Victoria Cassagnol, Raeshawn Bellamy, Kiara Londono, Samantha Gulli; and
• Team D: Ashly Kurian, Jocelyn Rodriguez, Gabrielle Muntean, Kirsten Jeansson.
Next year Rutgers will be going to University of New Hampshire for the 2020 competition.
For more information on the competition contact Dr. Carey Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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