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2019 Northeast Student Affiliate Competition

Mar 12, 2019

2019 Northeast Student Affiliate Competition

Courtesy: Dr. Bruce Richards. Back row: Dr. Bruce Richards, Sam Campbell, Ryan Herstine, Caitlyn Degner, Alana Miller, Kaitlyn Keating, Carly Swirsding, and Dr. William Fritz. Front row: Megan Pfeiffer, Janel Beer, Sam Landers, Heather Oeltjen-Bruns, Tarrah Freud, Klarissa Cohick, and Chealsey Harkins.

Delaware Valley University students took part in the Northeast Student Affiliate (NESA) of the American Society of Animal Science and American Dairy Science Association competition at the University of Delaware on Feb. 23. 

The DelVal group joined students from seven different institutions in a competition that tests students’ knowledge of animal science. After months of preparing, the team placed fourth overall as an institution against the seven other teams. 

NESA hosts a competition each spring. DelVal, Penn State, the University of Connecticut, Rutgers University, the University of Massachusetts, the University of Maine, the University of Rhode Island, and the University of New Hampshire participated in the competition this year. Teams accumulated points for livestock judging, animal science quiz bowl and team member presentations. 

To prepare for the event, teams started practicing in September, meeting as many as three times a week to study for the competition. Team leaders also organized judging practices at an assortment of livestock and breeding barns. Barn managers were courteous enough to put together classes so the groups could practice. 

Dr. William Fritz, assistant professor of animal science, and Dr. Bruce Richards, associate professor of dairy and animal sciences, attended the competition as the students' advisors. Four DelVal animal science majors served as presenters at the competition including Tarrah Freund '19, who presented on Lyme disease in horses; Heather Oeltjen-Bruns '19, who presented on new technology in farrowing barns; Samantha Campbell '20, who presented on new USDA iodine regulations on farms; and Kaitlyn Keating '21,  who presented on the benefits of feeding red clover to meat goats.

In the judging competition, the group judged Angus beef steers, Dorset ewes, Barred Plymouth Rock roosters, Holstein dairy cows, mini horses, and liquid honey, as the mystery class. The top 10 teams place and receive ribbons. 

Delval placed fourth institutionally out of eight teams. Team B placed tenth overall in livestock judging and Team C placed third overall in quiz bowl. Team A member Freund was the first overall individual in livestock judging and Team C member Ryan Herstine '19, an animal science major, placed sixth overall individually in livestock judging.

Next year, the NESA competition will be held at the University of New Hampshire.