The University of Delaware Animal Science Club had a strong showing in the quiz bowl portion of the 2012 Northeast Student Affiliate (NESA) competition hosted by the University of Maine on Saturday, Feb. 18.
The quiz bowl took place in a bracket system, with the UD teams competing against 49 other teams from 10 universities, which this year included schools such as Penn State University, Rutgers University and the University of Maryland.
The eight students representing UD were split up into two teams of four, UD teams A and B. Team B placed 10th overall, earning itself a blue ribbon handed out at the competition’s awards banquet.
Laura Nemec, laboratory coordinator in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences and the club adviser who went with the group to the competition, said that the teams from UD “were a great mix of freshman through seniors and many had little to no experience with NESA previously.”
Explaining that UD team B missed out on advancing in the quiz bowl by only one point, Nemec said that the Animal Science Club members “did a fantastic job this year and are already looking for more new members and practicing questions for next year at Rutgers. I could not be more proud of the NESA teams and Animal Science Club.”
The rounds were made up of 20 questions each, with the teams getting buzzers to ring in with the correct answers. Questions consisted of general agricultural questions, but also involved some bio-anatomy, biology and some trivia about the host school sprinkled into the competition, as well.
To prepare for the quiz bowl, Jennifer West, a senior in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) and president of the Animal Science Club, explained that the students used questions from the previous year’s competition and began to study them over Winter Session. The questions also helped pass the time as they prepped on their 11-hour car ride to Maine. Another way that they prepared was having UD professors come in and “speak with us and give kind of quick mini-lectures about what they teach.”
These lectures covered topics such as anatomy, genetics and nutrition. Faculty who spoke to the club included Carissa Wickens, assistant professor of animal and food sciences, Robert Dyer, associate professor of animal and food sciences, Carl Schmidt, associate professor of animal and food sciences, and Tanya Gressley, assistant professor of animal and food sciences.
Quiz bowl was only a portion of the NESA competition, which also included a livestock judging competition and a paper presentation.
Ariana Shakory, a sophomore in CANR, explained that the club had help in preparing for the livestock judging portion of the competition. Club members visited the University of Delaware dairy farm and learned and practiced dairy cattle judging with Richard Morris, dairy manager at the UD farm, which Shakory called “a good experience and good practice.”
For the paper presentations, each team selected one team member to give a presentation. The two members from UD were West and Jessica Applebaum, a junior in CANR. West’s paper focused on “Antibiotic Resistance and the Transmission from Livestock to Human Consumption,” while Applebaum’s dealt with “Mastitis in Dairy Cattle,” an inflammation of the udders.
While the team is already looking forward to next year’s event at Rutgers, they also have their eye on eventually hosting the event at UD because, as West explained, “with the shorter travel distance it would cost less and we could take more than two teams. We would really love to bring NESA back to UD — it would be really fun to do all the behind the scenes planning.”
According to Sara Hobson, a CANR senior and vice president of the Animal Science Club who chaired this year’s NESA planning committee, the last time UD hosted the event was 1996.
About the Animal Science Club
For anyone interested in joining the Animal Science Club, it meets every Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Room 107 of Sharp Laboratory. While the majority in the club are Animal Science majors, that is not a pre-requisite to join as the club accepts students from all majors.
The club prides itself on providing a great opportunity for hands-on experience and involvement in the community. The club members volunteer at local farms and animal shelters, and they regularly have guest speakers from places like Carousel Farms come in to talk with the group about a variety of experiences.
Applebaum explained that she got involved with the club because, “I really want to go to vet school and I feel like the hands on experience would really help me and they bring in speakers from different places, like vet schools and animal organizations, and you also get to meet a lot of people on campus.”
The club’s advisers are Laura Nemec and Lesa Griffiths, professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences.
For more information on the Animal Science Club, visit their website or e-mail Jennifer West or Nina Lee, junior in CANR and secretary of the Animal Science Club.
Article by Adam Thomas