On Friday 26 students from Missouri State’s TRiO Upward Bound program visited the Darr Agricultural Center to learn about the William H. Darr School of Agriculture and our efforts to go green!
First on the agenda was the nearly one year old Bond Learning Center. The Center was dedicated last June and was constructed to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED certified Silver. The LEED program is internationally recognized and buildings are evaluated based on key areas including sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
After touring the unique building, including the theater-style lecture hall specially designed to bring live animals into the classroom, the students headed to Pinegar Arena. Dr. Gary Webb, professor in animal science, wowed the students with a horsemanship demonstration. Included in the
demonstration, Dr. Webb explained the painstaking process of teaching a horse how to properly ‘cut’ cattle, a term used to describe separating a single cow from the herd and the difficult process of maintaining the separation. His horse, Precious, showed off her skills using a mechanical flag system.
Finally, the students visited Justin Sissel in the show barn where this year’s show cattle are being groomed for competition. The School maintains a thriving herd of Hereford cattle at the Journagan Ranch. Exemplary cattle are trained to lead or tie and prepared for the show ring each year. Sissel highlighted the various stages of life in cattle to demonstrate the often rapid growth experienced in cattle. On hand were a one-month-old bull, a yearling bull and a two-year-old bull, with approximately 1,700 lbs. separating the youngest from the oldest. Sissel shared a few tricks of the trade such as clipping the cattle’s hair to accentuate their most desirable features.
The MSU TRiO Upward Bound program was founded by a grant in 2003. The purpose of the program is to assist students with developing the tools, resources and motivation necessary to successfully complete secondary education and eventually a postsecondary education. Recently, the project was awarded an additional five year grant. In addition to TRiO Upward Bound the program also encompasses TRiO Student Support Services which aims to assist low-income and/or first generation students be successful in their postsecondary academic careers. Both programs are under the direction of TaJuan Wilson.