Writer: Blair Fannin, 979-845-2259, firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Dr. Joe Mask, 979-845-4353, email@example.com
COLLEGE STATION – Youth from across Texas recently participated in 4-H Veterinary Camp, building on skills and knowledge needed to achieve mastery in the certification program.
The event coincided with Texas 4-H Roundup week. Upon completion of the week-long instruction, students received Beef Quality Assurance certification from the Texas Beef Council and obtained 33 of the 78 clinical skills needed for the Texas Veterinary Medical Association Certified Veterinary Assistant Level 1 certification, according to organizers.
The camp featured experts from the Texas A&M University department of animal science, Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
“This was our third annual camp for Texas 4-H members,” said Dr. Joe Mask, AgriLife Extension specialist youth veterinary science. “It’s part of the veterinary science certificate program. We cover program areas in equine, beef cattle, cattle handling and restraint. We also talked about nutrition, fever ticks and Beef Quality Assurance practices. All of the students leave camp BQA certified.”
Camp attendees viewed beef cattle research projects at the Texas A&M field laboratory near College Station and toured the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science department on campus.
This year there were 26 camp attendees age 12 to 18, Mask said.
“We try to hold attendance down to a minimum so it’s more hands on,” he said. “We also spend a lot of time around the cattle chute, microscopes, giving them as much opportunity to experience the activities animal health practitioners experience on a day-to-day basis.
“All 4-H members who sign up through Texas 4-H come to this camp,” Mask said. “The students have to get 78 clinical skills, so at this camp they can get 33 of those. They take heart rates, respiratory temperature, restraint.”
Mask said the youth had a great week of learning opportunities, “specifically all types of clinical skills that they can use in a career path whether it be as a veterinarian or research scientist.”
“Early in the week, the camp participants worked with horses, learning all aspects of handling and health, Mask said. They learned to apply bandages, catch and tie a horse, how to lead safely and to handle and examine feet.”
Other practices discussed and demonstrated included haltering cattle, proper injection placement and evaluating cattle with potential illness. Camp participants also learned cattle behavior in a chute, as well as how to use a stethoscope to listen to the cow’s heart rate. For more information about the program, visit http://aevm.tamu.edu.