Four University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources students tested their animal sciences knowledge this spring by representing MU at the regional Animal Science Academic Quadrathlon.
Anne Dolan, Sara Gholson, Jessica Klasing and Christina Scherer captured third place in the regional competition, which was held March 10-11. Part of the competition was held on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s campus and part in Omaha, Nebraska, in conjunction with the American Society of Animal Science’s Midwest Conference.
The competition occurs annually and is sponsored by the American Society of Animal Science. The purpose of the event is to test a comprehensive overview of the areas studied within animal sciences.
Dolan, Gholson, Klasing and Scherer, all animal science majors, first competed in local Animal Science Academic Quadrathlon against other MU teams. They placed first at the local level, punching their ticket to represent Mizzou at the regional competition.
Animal sciences professor Rodney Geisert encouraged Dolan, Gholson, Klasing and Scherer to enter into the local competition as a team after they won a quiz bowl he hosted as extra credit for his class.
Having been friends since freshman year, the four students agreed.
There are four components to the competition: quiz bowl, lab practicum, oral presentation and a written test. During the quiz bowl, students answer questions related to animal agriculture. The lab practicum tests students’ ability to perform physical skills. For the oral presentation, each team is given a list of topics to choose from, then an hour to prepare an eight to 10-minute presentation. Each team is given four written tests to take together, divvying up questions as they see fit. In addition to placing third overall, the students placed third in the lab practicum and third in the written exam.
Teams from Michigan State University, North Dakota State University, Purdue University, Kansas State University, University of Findlay, University of Illinois, University of Nebraska, University of Wisconsin – Madison, University of Wisconsin – Platteville and the University of Wisconsin – River Falls also competed in the quadrathlon.
Gholson, a senior, who grew up on a beef cattle farm near Jackson, Missouri, has been participating in the quadrathlon since freshman year.
“This year it was really cool to see how I’ve grown,” she said.
Gholson also said she learned how to work in stressful situations since all of the events were timed.
Dolan, a junior from Houston, Texas, and Scherer, a senior from Kelso, Missouri, said they both enjoyed learning about animal science programs at other schools and touring the University of Nebraska – Lincoln’s animal science facility.
Klasing, a senior from Okawville, Illinois, said attending the American Society of Animal Science Midwest Conference was beneficial because it exposed her understanding more about what professionals within animal science do.