Penn State Block and Bridle Club Places First in Nation

Posted: October 20, 2015

The Block and Bridle Club was first in chapter activities, first in yearbook and second for its scrapbook. Club President Elizabeth Palmer was fifth place for overall outstanding junior in the nation.
Block and Bridle Club members at national convention.

Block and Bridle Club members at national convention.

Penn State's Block and Bridle Club placed first in the nation for chapter activities at the 96th National Block and Bridle Convention hosted by Oklahoma State University and Oklahoma Panhandle State University, October 15-17, 2015. The club also placed first for its yearbook and second for its scrapbook. 

Elizabeth Palmer, Bernville, PA, current president of Penn State's chapter, won fifth place for overall outstanding junior in the nation.

Fifteen members traveled to Tulsa, OK, for the meeting, accompanied by Dan Kniffen, Ph.D., adviser to the club. Kniffen said, "I think it's important to understand that students are responsible for all of the activities and projects in which they participate. As advisors we provide the support and guidance to help make them successful. The opportunity for students to learn through leadership is a critical component of their academic and career development."

Dr. Terry Etherton, Head of the Department of Animal Science, said, "This is an outstanding accomplishment for our club whose members work exceedingly hard throughout the year. Importantly, they provide strong leadership to many Department and College activities. I offer my sincerest congratulations for this wonderful national recognition."

Penn State Block and Bridle members are deeply committed to advocacy and have a shared love for the animal sciences industry. The chapter activities recognition is a reflection of the variety of activities they offer throughout the year, from educational to service to social. They conduct the Little International Expo each spring, help with the Ag Day and Open House events within the College, raise awareness through Meat-In Day, and raise funds for worthwhile projects. Their largest and most successful fundraiser is their meat sale, taking place in the spring and fall semesters and offering ground beef, whole hams and breakfast, smokey, maple and summer sausage. The club often joins with other clubs within the Department of Animal Science and the College to offer enrichment opportunities for their members, including inviting speakers such as Temple Grandin to meetings and traveling to the Philadelphia Zoo for a behind-the-scenes look at zoo operations. 

At the national convention, students heard from many professionals within the agricultural industry and had ample opportunity to network with leaders and peers about the future of animal production, becoming more knowledgeable about issues facing the beef industry. They toured a variety of agricultural facilities, including: Tyson Foods, Inc.; Williard Sparks Beef Cattle Research Center; Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center (FAPC); Pfeiffer Farms club goat; Sooner Cattle Company; Braum's, one of the world's largest dairy operations; Express Ranches, one of the world's largest Angus Seedstock breeders; and Oakley's Port 33 in Catoosa, the largest private river port on the Arkansas River, among others.

More than 400 collegiate Block and Bridle members representing over 35 colleges and universities from across the United States participated in the outstanding experience.

The National Block and Bridle Club is a collegiate organization with 94 chapters across the United States with the purpose of promoting animal agriculture and developing professional and leadership skills in members.

The trip was made possible with partial funding provided by the Office of Undergraduate Education.