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OSAGE | On Wednesday, July 11, Iowa State Extension Mitchell County hosted the Vet Science 101 program.

Fourteen youth participating included Maddie Bruesewitz, Grace Clark, Gracie Gerbus (Cerro Gordo), Alex Hemann, Whitney Hemann, Olivia Huisman, Christian Michels, Noah Michels, Derek Peterson, Sarah Phelps, Allison Schallock, Tyler Sprung, Devon Swenson and Haley Walters.

State Veterinarian, Dr. David Schmitt kicked the day off with a presentation about biosecurity, fairs and zoonotic diseases. Kids had the opportunity to play with a powder that simulates how germs spread. Youth experienced a panel discussion that included Dr. Schmitt and Dr. Young who is a Veterinary Medical Officer with USDA. Youth then enjoyed an interactive presentation from Dr. Kruse about what was normal animal behavior and when you may consider calling the veterinarian.

Later, the group broke into small focus groups and veterinarians spoke about first aid, symptoms and diseases that were common in the animals in which they were interested. The youth got to choose from a group focusing on horses, cattle and other ruminants, swine or small animals. There were four veterinarians who helped with this portion - Dr. Schwarting, Dr. Kruse, Dr. Young, and Dr. Dierenfeld.

Before lunch, each participant had the opportunity to try their new stethoscopes and take heart rates, respirations rates, listen to gut sounds and feel pulses in major arteries in both a dog and horse.

In the afternoon, the group was able to get a farm tour from Mabel Buerkley at U-Pick and More in Osage. Youth learned all about the Belgian draft horses, she and her husband own. The youth helped move her foals and yearling horse. A lot of the youth expressed this was the best part of the day, because it was such a rare opportunity to be up close and personal with such large horses.

Youth wrapped up the day with a trivia game and a snack. Each participant received a thermometer, stethoscope and workbook.

This program would not have been possible without the support of Farm Credit and the Working Here Fund grant and all the veterinarians who volunteered their time.

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Regional Editor

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