Animal Science: Sustainable Animal Husbandry
Summer College 2014
Hello! I'm Gabrielle, and I just graduated from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, NC, however I grew up in Concord, NC. In light of my love for animals, I am taking the Sustainable Animal Husbandry course for three weeks this summer to get an idea of what a large animal veterinarian might do, as I dream of becoming a vet myself. I will be studying biology at UNC-Chapel Hill in the fall... Go Tarheels! I enjoy swimming, tennis (along with most outdoorsy sports) and trying new food, and I am so thrilled to spend time in Ithaca this summer.
One week down, two to go! So far in my Animal Husbandry course, I have put my arm into the rumen of a live, fistulated cow, visited an SPCA animal shelter, toured the Cornell Swine Farm, a sheep farm, and The Piggery Farm. While I have had no shortage of readings and assignments, I have enjoyed the perspectives and information from the readings and the challenges of the assignments.
In addition, my walk to class passes over the gorge and around Beebe Lake, which entails beautiful sites and several blind dates with wildlife (so far, I've seen a deer and her fawn, a few rabbits, a group of moles, lots of chipmunks and the occasional frog).
Besides the class, I've explored exciting parts of campus (and have made certain to keep a safe distance from the gorges) and taken part in the activities my RCAs have put together for us. My first Saturday here was spent at the Treman State Park, hiking and swimming with other Summer College students (as well as studying for my midterm).
Overall, my Summer College class has definitely been one of the most hands-on and intriguing classes of my education so far, and is taught by two open-minded and very intelligent women.
Hello again! I have now finished two weeks, and am starting my third and final week of Animal Husbandry. This second week brought an abundance of new topics in class including dairy cattle management, goats (a goat farm tour, practice in milking goats, and cheese tasting!), poultry, equine management (and a trip to the horse farm), nutrition and manure, and topics in animal research (as well as a tour of the research facility here at Cornell). The class is set up for lecture in the morning and lab in the afternoon, and the labs this week were very interesting and informative.
This weekend began with a trip to the mall with my roommate, and on Saturday I had the awesome opportunity to visit Niagara Falls! It was a three-hour drive but was totally worth it. I had never been before and was so grateful that the staff here put together the trip. I also watched a movie with the rest of the hall in between studying and napping on Sunday.
This next week will be bittersweet, a little stressful and a little exciting as I wrap up my time here in Ithaca, prepare for the class debate and final exam, and await telling friends and family back home about the great memories and the incredible experiences I've had so far.
A long taxi ride, a delayed flight, a sprint through the Philadelphia airport to make my connection, and a week later: I'm home and reflecting on my time at Summer College. First off, I am extremely grateful that I had the opportunity to learn from two very passionate and openminded women at an esteemed university. The time they spent teaching was well spent and the information I was taught has prepared me in many ways for forming my own opinion on contemporary agricultural issues (and therefore taking action on issues I can help to improve). Part of the reason I chose this course was to gain experience/learn about large animal veterinary medicine and while that goal was accomplished, solidifying my career path was not and I am still unsure of what type of veterinary medicine I will pursue. Overall, Cornell Summer College was a fantastic source of knowledge, friendship, and new experiences which I am thankful to have participated in.