Student Clubs

Posted: June 24, 2011

Activities hosted by CHAPS, Dairy Science Club, Equine Research Team, SEAC, and Block and Bridle


This was an exciting year for CHAPS!  In the fall, CHAPS members volunteered at a local therapeutic riding facility, assisting with multiple tasks. In January, several CHAPS members attended the National CHAPS convention hosted by Texas A&M University in Fort Worth, TX. While they were at the convention, CHAPS members visited the North Texas Horse Farm, toured the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards, and attended a livestock show and a rodeo. CHAPS members learned more about the organization and heard presentations on careers in the horse industry. This year, CHAPS began to take a more active role in Penn State’s THON by raising funds. In late spring officer elections were held. Incoming president, Laura Wodzinski, is working with the other officers planning activities and volunteer opportunities for the coming year.      

Dairy Science Club

The members completed another active spring semester. In January, the Club sponsored a youth dairy judging contest at the PA Farm Show, and in February members coordinated the PA Holstein Quiz Bowl and Dairy Jeopardy contests in Scranton. Block and Bridle and Dairy Club members defended their championship at the Northeast Affiliate meetings held at the University of New Hampshire.

During spring break, 43 club members visited farms, a cheese plant, and a banana processing facility in Costa Rica. In late March over 180 youth attended the annual spring judging contest and club members conducted the PA Jersey Jeopardy Contest at the state Jersey convention in Williamsport.

At Dairy Expo on April 16, 35 contestants showed in three different divisions based on dairy experience. Two siblings won top honors. Hannah Bachman was named Overall Champion; Philip Bachman was named Reserve Overall Champion.

The club held its awards banquet on April 28. Adam and Lisa Sonnen were named Club Dedicatees. Joel Krall received the Young Dairy Leader Award. Sarah Wickard received the William R. Davey Award (Outstanding Senior in Dairy Science). Stephen Bond received the Branding Award that recognizes a behind-the-scenes junior in the club. The Muller Award (Outstanding first year member) was presented to Hannah Bachman. American Dairy Science Association Scholarship Recognition awards were presented to sophomore Nathan Ulmer, junior Philip Bachman, and seniors Joshua Ebert, Laraya Foresman and Kolby McIntyre.  

Penn State Equine Research Team

The team had several achievements during the academic year.  They completed a study of growth hormone profiles in young growing Quarter Horses. Over 80 volunteers were involved in all aspects of the study and learned about what it takes to conduct a study. The results from that study were presented at the 2011 Equine Science Society meeting. At the same meeting, team member and new Animal Science graduate student, Linsey Etz, presented results from a study on leucine supplementation in Quarter Horse yearlings. Linsey won 1st prize at the 2011 Mid-Atlantic Nutrition Conference for her presentation of part of the results from her study.

In April, the team co-organized the 1st Undergraduate Student Equine Research Symposium with undergraduate students at Virginia Tech. The two-day meeting involved over 50 undergraduate students and was held at Virginia Tech’s Middleburg Agricultural Research and Extension Center.

In May, a group of 16 students attended and helped do set-up for Alltech's 27th International Animal Health and Nutrition Industry Symposium. They had the opportunity to visit a number of important equine landmarks around Lexington, KY.

This summer, some team members are collecting data to understand the relationships between feeding practices and the body condition of horses. The team is advised by Burt Staniar and Ann Macrina.

The Small and Exotic Animal Club

The club had a good spring semester. A successful holiday stocking sale led to selling home-made pet valentines. Other fund raising activities were running the food booth at the Little International/Dairy Expo and a chocolate bar sale. Members visited the Hearthside and Brookline nursing homes, and took pets to the Village at Penn State, where they were welcomed by Penn State alumni. Other community service activities included volunteering at and sponsoring the Wild About Animals event for Centre Wildlife Care, cleaning and socializing dogs at Nittany Greyhound Rescue, and organizing volunteer opportunities at Centre County PAWS.  Guest speakers this semester included Dr. Tracy Langkilde from Biology and representatives from the 100 Cat Foundation and the Nittany Greyhounds. New and continuing officers look forward to the new school year. 

Block and Bridle Club

The Block and Bridle Club had a very busy and exciting spring semester. In early February, a team of two Block and Bridle members and two Dairy Science club members earned Reserve National Champion honors in the National Beef Quiz Bowl competition.

Sixteen Block and Bridle students joined forces with Dairy Science Club members at the University of New Hampshire in February to compete in livestock judging, quiz bowl, and paper presentations.  With a total of eight teams, Penn State was privileged to be named the Top Overall University at the competition.

In early March, weeks before the PA Bull Test, members clipped over 100 bulls in a record of just three days of hard work. In mid-March, the club and the livestock and horse judging teams conducted a Spring Judging workout for 4-H and FFA members from across the state. Over 350 youth and the PSU collegiate team members judged livestock. The last weekend in March, members helped at the Bull Test sale and at Beef Expo. Youth from across PA participated in the quiz bowl on the Friday night before the sale and in the Skillathon on sale day. The Skillathon was hosted by the club. Members assisted with the Junior Show on Saturday and Sunday.

In early April, many members attended the Ag Ball, where Block and Bridle was named outstanding club for fundraising and community service. The Ag Ball culminated with recognition of Block and Bridle as the club of the year. Later in April, the club held its annual Beef up the Blood supply. It was a record year with 138 units collected. During the semester, students collected beef blood for the vampire bat colony at the Philadelphia Zoo.  Students were thrilled to visit the zoo and to receive behind the scene tours. Club members enjoyed educating people on campus about the College of Agricultural Sciences. On Earth Day Block and Bridle participated in the college’s annual Harvest to Home event, also called Ag Day. During the semester, social activities included broomball, snowtubing, IM sports and the farewell picnic at the end of the semester. 

Little International, or Little I, is one of the club’s most anticipated events of the year. Block and Bridle would not be complete without this long-standing tradition. This year’s show was in the capable hands of George Peters (show manager) and Courtney Cowden (assistant show manager). The club held its 94th Little I with 82 students participating from the college along with students from all over the University Park campus. Participants showed a sheep, hog, horse, or beef heifer. Students honed their fitting and showmanship skills and were given the opportunity to display their hard work to a full Snider Agricultural Arena. Many parents and alumni attended the show and appreciated 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.

  • Overall Champion Showman: Frank Telesz, beef; Justene Testa, horse; Robbie McCammon, sheep; Tony Miller, swine
  • Overall Reserve Champion Showman: Ryan Fairbairn, beef; Jenna Mahovlich, horse; Katie Landis, sheep; Josh Ebert, swine
  • Overall Champion Fitter: Frank Telesz, beef; Jenna Mahovlich, horse; Katie Landis, sheep; Kaitlyn Butterbaugh, swine
  • Overall Reserve Champion Fitter: Dave Nogan, beef; Caitlin Fairbairn, horse; Logan Horst, sheep; Constance Anderson, swine

The Little International Champion Showman was awarded to Tony Miller with the reserve champion showman going to Josh Ebert.

At the evening’s banquet, the Little I dedicatee, Pete LeVan, and Honorary Member Molly Martin were recognized. Other awards included the Outstanding Senior awarded to Constance Anderson and Outstanding Junior to Brianna Isenberg. By member vote, the following were recognized: Amanda Mosier: Jim Watkins hard working Rookie Award; Brooke Milbrandt: Brighton Feeds Hard Working Sophomore Award; Dustin Dreyfus: Glenn R. Kean Hard Working Junior Award; and Gracie Tegler: Grant Sherritt Hard Working Senior Award.