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Blinn College Agricultural Sciences Program hosts Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Volunteer Education Day

Blinn faculty provide training approximately 200 rodeo volunteers

February 16, 2018

Blinn College Agricultural Sciences Professor Doug Pierce provides instruction for Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo volunteers at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Volunteer Education Day at the W.J. “Bill” Rankin Agricultural Complex on the Blinn College-Brenham Campus.


 

The Blinn College Agricultural Sciences Program recently hosted a Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Volunteer Education Day at the W.J. “Bill” Rankin Agricultural Complex.

This is the second year that Blinn has hosted Education Day, which is designed to educate volunteers who will give tours and provide information to people who visit the AGVENTURE exhibits at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

“The entire event is centered around agricultural education, and we give the volunteers the content that they will relay to the individuals going through the tours at the rodeo,” said Bryn Behnke, Assistant Dean. “The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a major show here in the state of Texas and almost every one of our agricultural students knows what it is and has participated in it, so we always want to be working with them in any way that we can. It is also another great way for our faculty to showcase their tremendous knowledge.”

Approximately 200 volunteers attended the event. Breakout session topics included swine, sheep and goat, beef, poultry, farming, dairy and misconceptions of agriculture. In addition, livestock were used in the swine, sheep and goat, and beef presentations to highlight physical characteristics and animal behaviors, and serve as an opportunity for hands-on learning.

“The tours committee needs basic training, and they want to make sure that the facts they are presenting to the public are correct,” said Allen Kaminski, part-time Blinn instructor and a Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo volunteer. “Blinn has opened the doors and welcomed us, and it has been a perfect relationship. When the volunteers can put their hands on a lamb or a baby pig and learn the proper terminology, they gain a lot of knowledge.”

Starting Tuesday, Feb. 27, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo volunteers will share the knowledge they gained with the hundreds of thousands of visitors to the AGVENTURE exhibits. The exhibits include a birthing center, breed row barn, fisheries, honey bees, horticulture, a milking parlor, petting zoo, pony rides, poultry, rabbits, a tour of Texas, and a “We’re Small Y’all Barn.”

In 2017, over 430,000 people went through the AGVENTURE exhibits, including approximately 230,000 children.

“Another reason we love being a part of this is because we are in the business of education and recruiting kids, and our name is now attached with something that is going to impact a lot of kids,” Behnke said.

Blinn’s Agricultural Sciences Program is one of the largest in the nation with almost 800 students enrolled – roughly four times the size of any other two-year agricultural program in the state. Blinn offers agriculture classes on all its campuses, with the W.J. “Bill” Rankin Agricultural Complex serving as the program’s hub. In addition to its excellence in the classroom, Blinn offers extracurricular educational activities in the areas of livestock judging, agriculture club, wildlife, agriculture mechanics, horticulture and agriculture sciences.

For more information on Blinn’s Ag Sciences program, visit: www.blinn.edu/agriculture.