Members from the University of Wyoming Block and Bridle (B&B) Club attended the 93rd National Block and Bridle Convention held in Ames, IA on April 4-6th. The Iowa State University B&B Club hosted the event and it was themed “Feed the Need, Ignite the Future”.
Club members that attended were: Taryn Russell, Dani Stravino, McKensie Harris, Sean Ridgeway, Austin Buzanowski, Sarah Dalles, Kassie Ford, and Emma Englesby. Advisors Zeb Gray and Dr. Allison Meyer also traveled with the club members.
The convention opened with a welcome from the President of Iowa State University, Dr. Steven Leath and the Department Chair of Animal Science, Dr. Maynard Hogberg. Students listened to a presentation about agriculture’s role in the 21st century and then participated in a “Pride of Schools” where B&B chapters from across the nation showed off what their clubs have been doing over the past year.
The second day started early with tours going around the state of Iowa. The stops ranged from TransOva Genetics and Blue Bunny Ice Cream to a winery, All A-Marek-N Sires (boar stud) and Sparboe Egg Facility. The tours showcased how diverse the agriculture sector is in the state of Iowa. The day concluded with a grill out on central campus by the Iowa Cattleman’s Association and a concert.
Participant Sarah Dalles, said, “I liked seeing a different type of agricultural than what I’m used to in the western states. It was eye opening.”
The third day was full of informational workshops ranging from writing resumes to sessions on specific species including beef, swine, sheep, horses, and companion animals. There was a definite theme this year with a lot of the workshops focused on the influence of social media, both the good and the bad. The convention concluded with an awards banquet that night followed by a dance.
McKensie Harris, UW B&B Treasurer said, “Meeting people with different agricultural backgrounds really opened my eyes to what the agricultural industry has to offer.”
Club members made an additional stop en route to the convention at Werner Beef Feed Efficiency Center and Werner Family Angus in Diagonal, Iowa. At the beef center, club members witnessed how technology is being used to collect data on cattle measuring a host of growth and carcass characteristics, including residual feed intake and residual average daily gain. They also got to explore the family Angus operation evaluating their year round grazing program, conservation practices, herd sires, and their bulls for sale. The Werner family graciously fed the group ribeye sandwiches for lunch while they conversed with students about issues involving the beef industry and production of agriculture.
“I really enjoyed networking with people from across the country with the same overall goals,” said Taryn Russell. “It was a great trip.”