Youth gained real-life experience at Michigan 4-H Animal and Veterinary Science Camp

The first annual Michigan 4-H Animal and Veterinary Science Camp was held June 23-27, 2014 at Michigan State University.

Thirty youth, ages thirteen to sixteen, were selected out of the over 120 applicants to attend the first annual Michigan 4-H Animal and Veterinary Science Camp. Campers had the chance to live like an MSU student staying in residence halls and attended classes in buildings located on campus. This campus experience provided many youth with their first glimpse of college life!

Throughout the week, campers toured various MSU Facilities, including the Dairy, Poultry and Sheep Teaching and Research Centers, the Diagnostics Center for Population and Animal Health and the College of Veterinary Medicine Veterinary Medical Center. Numerous faculty, staff and students from the MSU Department of Animal Science and MSU College of Veterinary Medicine assisted with the daily program. Additionally, guest speakers included staff from the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, MSU Extension, Capital Area Humane Society and Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. During the week members from the Michigan Veterinary Medical Association’s “Science, Animals, Medicine, and You!” team lead hands-on activities for the youth including frog dissections, physical exams on small animals, first aid and suturing. These activities provided a chance for youth to learn basic skills needed in animal and veterinary science careers.

Campers increased their knowledge as well as gained valuable teamwork and leadership skills by working through an assigned case study throughout the week. Groups were provided with real-life scenarios in which an animal had fallen ill to a potential zoonotic disease. Participants researched the disease and put together professional presentations about how to manage the animal and provide the necessary treatment to the animal while attempting to prevent a zoonotic disease occurrence. At the end of the week, the presentations were judged by American Association of Bovine Practitioners President, Dr. Daniel Grooms and State Veterinarian, Dr. James Averill. Overall, participants learned about animal and veterinary science careers, gained practical knowledge in the field of animal management and had a “Spartans Will” experience.

This 5-day Spartan Precollege program is in partnership with Michigan State University Extension, Michigan 4-H, MSU Department of Animal Science and MSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Special thanks to the event sponsors, MSU Department of Animal Science, Michigan Milk Producers Association and Michigan 4-H for making the event possible.

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