Undergraduate Student Clubs

Posted: June 15, 2009

Dairy Science Club, Collegiate Horsemen at Penn State (CHAPS), Block and Bridle, Students for the Responsible Use of Animals (SRUA)...

The Dairy Science Club recently wrapped up an exciting spring semester. After sponsoring a youth dairy judging contest at the PA Farm Show in January, members headed to Reading in early February to the PA Junior Holstein Convention. They \conducted the dairy bowl and dairy jeopardy contests at the convention, and club member Robyn Bechtel was selected as a Distinguished Junior Member. Later that month our group of Dairy Science and Block and Bridle members headed north to Connecticut for the NESA competitions. Penn State was named high institution and won the judging and quiz bowl contests. In undergraduate presentations, Jess Rose placed second and Robyn Bechtel earned fifth place out of 46 contestants, while Janelle Hartzell placed first in the original research category. David Wilson was named NESA Outstanding Senior.

In March the club traveled to Ireland for the annual spring break trip, with 51 students and three chaperones participating. While overseas, members visited dairy farms and other agricultural enterprises. The group made stops at AllTech and Dairymaster, and they spent an afternoon at the Moorepark Ag Experiment Station. They took advantage of opportunities for sightseeing by visiting Blarney Castle, the Ring of Kerry, and many Dublin landmarks.

The Spring Judging Contest was held on March 21 and attracted 190 4-H and FFA members. In early April the club cooperated with the Centre County Youth Services Bureau to sponsor the Spring Bargain Fling. This rummage sale raised over $15,000 for Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

The Penn State Dairy Expo was held on April 18. Club member Anthony Sharp was named Overall Champion, with Joe Leslie earning Reserve Overall Champion honors. Earlier in the week over 100 first and second grade students attended Meet a Farm Animal Day (including cows and calves) at the Snider Ag Arena. The semester came to a close with the annual awards banquet. Amy Yeiser received the Muller Outstanding First Year Member award, Chad Hoover was recognized with the Branding Award for a behind-the-scenes junior, and David Wilson received the Davey Award for Outstanding Senior in Dairy Science. The Dairy Science Club Dedicatee was David Lentz, Director of Sales for the PA Holstein Association. Randy Wolfe, a dairy producer from Milton, PA, was named Young Dairy Leader.

Dairy Days Cow Camp will be held on May 30-31 and the ADSA Student Affiliate Meetings will be held in Montreal in July. The 2009 Nittany Lion Fall Classic is scheduled for Saturday, November 21.

Collegiate Horsemen at Penn State (CHAPS) has been very active on campus and in the community this semester and continue forward with improved traditions!

Continuing their volunteer commitment from previous years, a group of CHAPS members spent their Thursday evenings side-walking and leading horses at Nancy Maier’s Therapeutic Riding Program in Port Matilda. Other members volunteered at the Centre County SPCA, exercising the dogs, playing with the cats, cleaning and washing blankets and cages, and mucking stalls of two horses that reside there.

In social activities, the club went on a trail ride together and learned about different aspects of the horse industry by listening to several professionals give presentations at the Speaker Series, a monthly event put on by CHAPS, the Penn State Equestrian Team, and Block and Bridle. The end of the academic year was celebrated by our vice president hosting the Kentucky Derby Party in order to give our members a study break as well as a chance to say good-bye to graduating seniors.

A subcommittee of dedicated CHAPS members has been working diligently since last spring to prepare for the 2009 American Collegiate Horsemen’s Association National Convention. Convention is an excellent way to display Penn State’s own horse professionals and give students exposure to the many disciplines of Pennsylvania’s first-rate horse industry. CHAPS hosted the eight other member schools of the ACHA in Harrisburg, Pa, and put much effort to ensure that this great opportunity was affordable for ACHA members from across the country. The event included many places to go and see, including Penn National Race Track, Hanover Shoe Farms, Iron Spring Farms, a visit to New Bolton Center, and finally concluding with a banquet recognizing excelled individuals.

Block and Bridle had a very busy and exciting spring semester. In late January, two B&B members and two Dairy Science Club members--Kristina McAllister, Jennifer Rassler, Elizabeth Smith and Amy Shollenberger—won the National Beef Quiz Bowl. The other regions were represented by Kentucky, Wyoming and Kansas in the double-elimination competition. The PSU team defeated WY in the first round, then K-State in triple overtime in the second round. K-State defeated KY in that round, setting up the final round of PSU vs K-State. In the final round PSU defeated KState 110 – 0. Penn State has represented the northeast region in 14 of the 17 years of the event. In those 14 years, Penn State has won the event 9 times and placed second four times.

In mid-February, 26 club members attended the National Convention in San Antonio TX. Two weeks later, club members participated with the Dairy Science Club in the Northeast Student Affiliate (NESA) meetings at the University of Connecticut. At NESA, members competed in livestock judging, quiz bowl, and paper presentations. Penn State won the high overall team and high institution awards. In early March, members clipped over 100 bulls for the PA Bull Test sale. In mid March, the club conducted a Spring Judging workout with the livestock and horse judging teams for over 400 4-H and FFA members from across the state and our collegiate team. At the end of March, members assisted with the Bull Test Sale and Beef Expo. At the Expo, youth from across PA participated in the quiz bowl and the Skillathon, hosted by the club. Members assisted with the Junior Show. In early April, many members attended the Ag Ball, followed by the club’s annual Beef up the Blood Supply event later that month. Over 110 units were collected to alleviate the low supply of blood. Throughout the semester, students collected beef blood at the Meats Lab for the vampire bat colony at the Philadelphia Zoo. Students were thrilled to visit the zoo and receive a behind the scene tour. Social activities for the semester included broomball, snow tubing, the annual farewell picnic and intramural sports.

The main event for the semester was the 92nd Little I on April 18. Little I provides any Penn State student the opportunity to exhibit a beef heifer, sheep, market hog or horse at either a professional or amateur level. Many parents and alumni attended the show and enjoyed the fruits of all the hard work that had gone into the show.

At the Little I banquet that evening the following students were recognized for their showmanship and fitting.

Beef Horse Sheep Swine
Overall Champion Showman Cyrus Gehringer Samantha Grieves Courtney Cowden Orry Pratt
Overall Reserve Champion Showman Andy Weikert Ashley Bennett Andy Meyers Tony Miller
Overall Champion Fitter Cyrus Gehringer Constance Anderson Courtney Cowden Orry Pratt
Overall Reserve Champion Fitter Jennifer Bean Sarah LeBlanc Sarah Doyle George Peters

The Little International Champion Showman was Courtney Cowden; Cyrus Gehringer was Reserve Champion Showman.

The Little I dedicatee, Glenn Myers and Honorary members Kelly and Pat Cole were recognized. Other awards included the Outstanding Senior (Jennifer Rassler) and Outstanding Junior (Kristina McAllister). Recipients of the most hardworking student awards were determined by votes of club members. Steve Bond won the Jim Watkins hard working Rookie Award, Tony Miller won the Brighton Feeds Hard Working Sophomore Award, Kristina McAllister and Cyrus Gehringer shared the Glenn R. Kean Hard Working Junior Award, and Christie Molinaro won the Grant Sherritt Hard Working Senior Award. At the National Block and Bridle Convention the Club received awards for their Yearbook (1st place: edited by Amy Shollenberger); Chapter Activities (1st place: authored by Melissa Sankey); Website (3rd place: organized by Anna Smith); Outstanding Junior (4th place: Callihan Schillaci); Outstanding Senior (1st place: Kyle Grimm).

The Club also received several awards from the university’s Center for Student Engagement: Outstanding Student Organization of the Year (for the second consecutive year) Outstanding Executive committee

Craig Millar Award for Leadership and Service- Christy Molinaro, Club president

Students for the Responsible Use of Animals (SRUA) had a busy spring semester. Starting with sponsorship of the Agility Trials at the Ag Arena in January, the students had a variety of hands-on service and learning activities, including taking pets to visit elderly residents in local nursing homes, a demonstration of search and rescue and police dog work from Officers Kris Hopkins and Bob Hummer of the Working K9 Association of Central Pennsylvania, and a demonstration of dog training techniques geared toward those working with shelter animals.

A follow-up session at Leslie Burgard’s training facility on a Saturday morning allowed members to practice the techniques they had learned on several shelter dogs and to socialize a group of homeless puppies being raised by Ms. Burgard until they were placed in homes. The highlight of the semester included a weekend trip to Front Royal, VA where members were treated to an extensive tour of the Canine Enforcement Breeding and Training Center.

This facility trains all of the dogs that are currently used in US Customs and Border Protection through the Department of Homeland Security. Club members were given behind-the scene-tours of the state-of-the art kennels, breeding areas, training areas and veterinary facilities. The group continued on to Washington, DC, where the students toured the Smithsonian Zoo as well as several of the National Smithsonian Museums. The club was also active in a number of Ag Student Council events, including the Ag Ball, the Harvest to Household event, and the College of Ag involvement fairs. In the spring the Club bade a fond farewell to graduating seniors and welcomed new members and a new slate of enthusiastic officers to carry the club forward into the future.