The Utah State University Department of Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences hosted the USU Academic Quadrathlon for undergraduate students to compete in a two-day event on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.
Six teams comprised of USU students participated as well as a team from Snow College. During the event, students were tested in four categories – a written exam, a quiz bowl, oral presentations, and live animal practicums. This is a chance for students to show off their skills and knowledge of the animal science industry as well as have a good healthy competition between peers.
USU students Dalton Gibbs, Jenna Gowns, Heather Gaudette and team captain Hayden Erickson won this year’s USU Academic Quadrathlon. The team will have the opportunity to compete at the regional level in June of this year.
The local level competition is organized by USU Animal Science Club Advisor Brett Bowman and ADVS faculty. They were happy to offer this experience once again after an absence last year due to COVID-19.
“For me it was one of the most unfortunate events to lose during Covid,” said Cade Cox, a competitor and the academic senator of the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences.
For faculty involved they feel holding the event each year greatly benefits students as they vie for future careers, leadership positions in the agriculture sector and veterinary school. Students can add to their social network by interacting with professionals from the industry as well as gain more soft skills in advocacy and public speaking.
“I think it’s important to add to the secular knowledge they are getting in school,” said Bowman about the competition, “In my opinion people that are more aggressive in doing extracurricular things do better in landing jobs, so I encourage students to do it.”
By participating in the Quadrathlon it allows student to be exposed to real life scenarios and skills needed in the beef, swine, sheep, dairy, and horse industries. Some of the practicums included artificial insemination, preg checking, processing piglets, and even saddling a horse.
“Because we get to work with live animals you really get to see what you know,” Gibbs said. “It’s a cool way to test your knowledge and gain experience.”
The competition is sponsored by the American Society of Animal Science, whose purpose is to foster the discovery, sharing and application of scientific knowledge in the animal industry. The USU Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences department hopes to do just that by continuing to provide valuable real-life experiences to students, as they go on to be leaders in the agriculture industry.