A livestock merchandising class in N.C. State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is paying off for students in more ways than one. On April 20, the class held its first annual Wolfpack Round-Up, a livestock sale that provided real-world hands-on activity – and garnered nearly $15,000 to benefit teaching programs for students in the CALS Animal Science Department.
The class, now in its second year, was designed to give students a working knowledge of the merchandise livestock business and products “to better prepare them for the real world,” said Gary Gregory, agricultural research technician in the department and the instructor of the class. He said that the course gives students valuable hands-on experience in both preparing livestock for a sale and conducting a livestock auction.
“They hear from livestock producers, professionals who manage sales and others associated with the livestock business during the semester, all culminating in putting their knowledge to practice in orchestrating the sale,” Gregory said.
Students in the class prepared animals from university farms for the sale, collecting information for the sale catalog and contacting prospective buyers, Gregory explained. Among animals included in the sale were yearling horses from the Equine Educational Unit, three ewes with lambs at their side from the Small Ruminant Educational Unit and five heifers from the Beef Educational Unit.
Students then were responsible for the actual sale, with a member of the class (who is actually a licensed auctioneer) serving as the auctioneer, while others assisted in moving lots into the sale ring and serving as ringpersons.
“They even helped load out the sold animals as buyers took their livestock to their new homes,” he said.
Assisting the students were the managers of N.C. State’s animal educational units: Lawson Walston (Equine), Bill Knox (Small Ruminant) and Rick Kern (Beef).
The sale grossed $14,960 on fourteen lots, exceeding expectations, according to Gregory, who added that the money will help fund the operation of the animal units for the educational purposes of students in the animal science curriculum.
Danielle Wick, a junior animal science major from Summerfield and one of the participants in the Wolfpack Round-Up sale, called the class “one of my favorites that I have taken in my college career so far.”
“Getting to put on a real livestock sale is not something you get to do every day,” Wick said. “It was a lot of work to get the animals ready for the sale, but it was exhilarating and rewarding when we got there. It was really great to see all of our hard work pay off and I am privileged to have been offered this rare opportunity at school. I highly recommend it to any student who enjoys animals and has a good work ethic.”
Added student Collin Beatty of Chapel Hill, “How many other classes actually allow the students to create, market and run an auction?”
Other members of the class were Jacob Adcock, Jordan Carter, Lauren Collier, Brittany Cornelius, Brooke Harward, Emily Jones, Grace Lester, Anne Link, Heather McFee, Cameron Overbey, Marion Quattlebaum, Melissa Rhoad, Devon Schreiber, and Shannon Steiner, as well as those shown in the photo above. Front (from left): Sabra Bryant, Cameron Demery, Alexann Rahimi and Danielle Wick; back: Hunter Sampson, Andrew Bray, Brandon Creech, Stephen Doby and Collin Beatty.
Now plans are already under way to replicate their success. Next year’s class will hold the second annual Wolfpack Round-Up on April 12, 2014.