Five student members of WSU’s Block and Bridle attended the 91st National Block and Bridle Convention last October in Lansing, Michigan. The purpose of this trip was to branch out and broaden the industry perspective of the clubs members.
“This trip helped enhance my perspective on how the animal agriculture industry is running outside of Washington,” said Courtney Breithaupt, an animal science production management major in her senior year. “I’ve never seen our industry run anywhere but locally.”
Attending conferences such as the National Block and Bridle Convention provide WSU students with a unique learning experiences and networking opportunities that give them an industry edge. “It allows students to think on a larger scale,” Breithaupt said, “and to study first hand situations we have previously only read about.”
The trip to Lansing was packed with key note addresses, industry tours, facility tours, and much more. The key note addresses focused directly on issues pertaining to the future of the animal production industry. “They spoke about some very current and interesting topics,” said Lauren Broeckel, a sophomore majoring in animal science production management. “What they said stuck with me and has been of use since the trip.”
Convention attendees observed cutting-edge technologies in action while on facility tours that let them connect classroom concepts with real-world applications. One of the technologies they observed was robotic milking machines. “We have discussed robotic milking in classes,” said Breithaupt. “Then I actually got to see them working in real life and the application made everything pull together.”
Experiences like attending national conventions give WSU students an edge in the job market. “The National Block and Bridle Convention gave us the chance to network with our future employers and coworkers,” said Broeckel.
Block and Bridle club members are able to gain hands on experience in working with animals and individuals in the industry through activities such as halter-breaking, fitting and selling cattle, touring local production facilities, and attending national conventions.
By Michelle Burns,
WSU CAHNRS MNEC intern Undegraduate Scientist Conducts Animal Reproduction Research
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