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April 19, 2002

Purdue students in first animal welfare judging competition

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. –Two Purdue University students recently participated in the first-ever animal welfare judging competition as part of a pilot educational program.

Dawn Hains, a junior psychology major from Kokomo, Ind., placed third out of 18 contestants in the individual competition. Hains and Gina Collins, a junior agricultural business major from Plantation, Fla., represented Purdue but were not eligible for the overall team competition because scheduling conflicts prevented the university from fielding a full team.

The students were each assigned to a computer where they viewed different scenarios pertaining to management of hogs, chickens, horses and dairy cattle. They then rated different aspects of the scenarios for how it affected the animals' behavior, which can in turn affect productivity. Each student then orally presented to a panel of judges their findings and the reasons for their conclusions.

Edmond Pajor, a Purdue animal sciences assistant professor who coached Hains and Collins, said that team livestock judging competitions are proven teaching tools. He said applying this method to animal welfare scenarios may be formalized as a program to increase awareness of management alternatives.

The other universities participating in the competition, which was at Michigan State University, were University of Wisconsin and University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

CONTACT: Edmond Pajor, (765) 496-6665, pajor@purdue.edu.

Writer: Susan A. Steeves, (765) 447-6566, ssteeves@aes.purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes, bforbes@aes.purdue.edu; http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/AgComm/public/agnews/

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


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