1. Work with animals
A major perk of doing undergraduate research in animal science is the opportunity to get off campus and go work with animals you love! My choice was with pigs, but it could be with beef cows, dairy cows, horses, sheep, goats, or even poultry.
2. Valuable Skills
Not only do I get hands-on experience with the animals, but I also got to be part of all the paper work and details that went into the trail. That includes protocol planning, feed manufacturing, allotment, daily chores, execution of experiment and data collection, as well as data review, analysis, and presentation.
3. Public speaking experience
After the trial is done, it is time to analyze the data and put together the abstract and poster that you will present at the Undergraduate Research Symposium, Gamma Sigma Delta and American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) Mid-West conference. This gave me the opportunity to step outside my comfort zone and present my research which I have worked so hard on!
I just mentioned the ASAS Mid-West conference… well it is not here in Manhattan, KS and neither is the Plains Nutrition Conference. Being involved in animal science undergraduate research allowed me to travel to Omaha, NE and San Antonio, TX.
5. New friends
Being involved in undergrad research has brought so many new people into my life. From sharing a hotel room at Mid-West to weighing pigs at 6:00am to seeing each other on campus, undergrad research has brought new and unlikely friends into my life!
6. Dr. Cassie Jones
She’s the #GOAT (Greatest One of All Time)... I would know since I took ASI 561/FDSCI 530.
I knew that swine nutrition was a field that I was interested in, but that meant that I would have to go to graduate school. Being involved in undergraduate research gave me the opportunity to see what a graduate program may be like and decide if that is the path that I want to go post-graduation. Undergraduate research has installed a new interest in a field that I had not been exposed to before and has helped me plan out goals for my future.