Matt Eddy

Preg Check 2011

Blog Post created by Matt Eddy on Feb 4, 2011

After several rescheduling's due to Vet Schedules, winter snow storms, a small solar flair - we finally got to check the ALC cows for pregnancy for the Iowa State Fair in early August 2011.

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Having a student managed herd is pretty cool -- but is also pretty crazy.  If you think about what you do already, put on managing 23 cows / calves, but instead of you working it -- delegate all the responsibility to a class of 20 students.  My cell phone gets a workout, I tell you.  I also recall now why my dad got perturbed when I would just say the 'cows were fine'.  I have reaped what I have sown 20 fold.  Each text message after chores is a variation of that all encompassing, yet non-descript description of the cows condition.  SIGH  -  I guess that's why I pull down the big bucks (Sarcasm)

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We had a really good day.  The kids are becoming more proficient operating the PALCO all-in-one tub and frankly, it's a godsend.  Student safety was always my biggest worry, since most aren't that comfortable or knowledgeable about cattle handling yet, and the one thing that this tub almost alleviates.

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My special thanks goes to the elementary school around the corner who let us come in to warm up for lunch.  The 8 degree weather with a small breeze made for a slightly chilly day.  Some of my students got a real kick out of seeing their old teachers and it looked like the feeling was mutual.

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Report card was pretty good.  11 pregnant, 11 open, and 1 too close to call right now.  The kids will get another chance to palpate in May as we determine some due-dates and prepare for the impending parturition at the State Fair.  I will say that 3 cows were open last year, turned up open this year and have probably seen their last State Fair from the Animal Learning Center perspective.  So I don't count them against the kids' total.  50-60% is a realistic figure, but we sure would like to see it improve.  I guess maybe a B for effort.  But with A+ kids, we may give them another shot.

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Thanks are in order for some folks who make this learning opportunity available: Iowa State Fair and Emily Brewer-ISF Ag Ed Coordinator; SE Polk Advisory Committee, including Don Timmins, Chair; the Southeast Polk School Board; and our administration who's support, initiative, and excitement over this experiential learning opportunity is clearly shown.

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Catch you on the next drive; and next time - bring some warmer boots -- ME


Find more at twitter - @AgEd4ME or on Facebook at Southeast Polk FFA