CSU, Chico

Animal Science Students Compete in Academic Quadrathalon

Animal Science Students Compete in Academic Quadrathalon

Four students from California State University, Chico competed in the Academic Quadrathalon at the Western Section American Society of Animal Science annual meeting in San Angelo, Texas, June 23-24, 2014. Glenn Blakey, Spencer Downey, Austin Fischer and Kate Moore tied for second in the grueling two-day competition, which included a laboratory practicum, written exam, oral presentation, and quiz bowl. Moore also placed fourth in the undergraduate poster competition, where she presented her research on the effects of brewer’s yeast on growth performance and carcass measures in feedlot finishing steers. 

In the laboratory practicum, the teams rotate through a number of workstations, working together to perform various physical skills in areas such as nutrition or meat science. The 60-minute written exam features questions related to animal production and products. In the oral presentation, the students have 60 minutes to prepare a 12-minute presentation on an assigned topic. In the quiz bowl, individuals on each team must answer a series of questions in a double-elimination tournament.

Animal science professor and coach Kasey DeAtley said, “This was a highly motivated group. They put an incredible amount of effort into studying and preparing for the competition on their own and as a team.”

Kate Moore, who completed her bachelor’s degree in animal science in December, said the competition challenged her to synthesize material that she had learned throughout her college career. “It felt like an animal science GRE, and it required me to recall all the information that was poured into me by the amazing professors during my time at Chico State,” she said.

Moore saw the poster competition in which she placed fourth as a challenging and rewarding capstone to her undergraduate research project. “Presenting research to a scientific community is terrifying, but it is one of the best experiences for a student interested in graduate school,” Moore said. “The judges and conference attendees pose hard questions that challenge and improve your research.”

It was the second time CSU, Chico has fielded a team in the regional competition. Other teams competing included Montana State, Oregon State, New Mexico State, BYU – Idaho and the University of Wyoming.