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Monday, December 15, 2014

Flat Aggie Goes to College

The CCC Horse Program is designed to prepare students for careers in the equine industry.  Students supplement their classroom learning with extensive hands-on experience as they are involved with the daily management of the college’s 60-acre facility. The CCC Horse Unit  is a breeding, training and teaching facility.  Students learn the basics of equine health, genetics, nutrition, reproduction, training, equine event planning, conformation and judging, and equine business. We have 37 horses at the farm.  We primarily raise American Quarter Horses, but also have a couple of Appaloosas, Paints, Thoroughbreds, a Welsh pony, and an Arab/Quarter Horse cross pony.  Our students actively care for every detail in the management of our horse herd.  
We'll take a moment to share with you using these photos:

Students do the daily chores.  Our horses are fed morning and night.  Depending on their age and nutritional needs, they are fed a variety of feeds.  Most of a horse's diet is made from forages.  We feed brome grass as our primary forage source. 
Some of our horses are also fed alfalfa.  Our horses are also fed grain.  Grain comes in a variety of commercial mixes based on the nutritional needs of the class of horses.  Some of our horses are given additional supplements to aid with joint health and as weight builders.  In these photos, Kassie and Flat Aggie are feeding at morning chores.
Sophomore student, Megan is teaching Flat Aggie about the different types of grains our horses are fed.
Flat Aggie is checking out our medication cabinet.  Just like us, sometimes horses get sick or sustain injuries.  We are prepared to provide treatment under direction of our college veterinarian. 
Part of our daily duties are cleaning stalls, runs, and the paddocks where the horses live.  Flat Aggie helped Jordan and Kassie clean manure from the stalls and refill the bedding.  We bed our horses in wheat straw or pine shavings.
Several of the students stopped for a photo to send a farewell to Flat Aggie as he headed out on his next adventure on the CCC Farm. 
Also attached is an aerial view of the College Farm.  The two large buildings on the right side of the photo are the horse barns and pens.  
Howdy from the Colby Community College Equestrian Team!  We are a competitive collegiate riding team of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association.  The IHSA allows students riders of all skill levels and economic backgrounds to compete and succeed at their own level of skill and experience.  Colby Community College is located in Colby, KS.  This is the far Northwest corner of the state.  We currently have 25 members on our team.  
We compete in both hunt seat (English) and western disciplines.  Flat Aggie recently traveled with our team to a western horse show in Wyoming.  The first photo is Aggie with three of our beginner riders- Stephanie, Kelsey, and Jessica.  
The second photo is Aggie with Jade after completing a reining pattern on horse, Sam.  Jade is one of our team captains and also serves as our chapter president for our collegiate Farm Bureau chapter. 
In addition to competitions, our team spends many hours riding and practicing on our school horses.  We have 21 horses that we use for practices and when we host competitions.  Having this many horses also requires us to provide many hours of care- feeding, grooming, cleaning stalls, and more.  Our horses are a part of our team and we treat them as athletes too.  Being a member of a collegiate riding team is hard work, but it's also lots of fun!  And the best part is, we get to be a part of a team doing something we love, all while working on our college degrees.  We'd love for you to visit these links to learn more about our team. 

Flat Aggie had a great time visiting the Colby Community College Farm and getting to go to animal science lab and practice with the livestock judging team. He started his day with other Colby Community College Students learning about how to test the nutrition in feed. Knowing the nutrition levels is very important because then farmers and ranchers know how much of each type of feed they can feed their livestock. 

Flat Aggie first helped test the bales. Using an electric drill with a great big tube on the end Flat Aggie bored about ¼ of a pound of hay from several bales. Next he helped scoop about 2 pounds of wet distiller’s grain into a sample bag for testing. Flat Aggie learned that wet distiller’s grain is the corn kernel after part of it has been made into ethanol. Showing one more step in how we can recycle our agricultural products to help benefit everyone with cleaner fuel and inexpensive feed. 

The next feed was kane silage. Flat Aggie learned that silage is when a plant like corn or kane is chopped down and the stalk and grain is chopped up. Next it is tightly packed into a great big pit. The Colby Community College farm’s pit holds 1,001 tons that 2,002,000 pounds of silage! The reason it is tightly packed is because it keeps air away from most of the silage and lets it ferment which helps bring out more of nutrients found in the plant. Flat aggie scooped nearly 10 pounds of silage into a bucket so that it could be sent off for testing.

Later that day Flat Aggie got to practice with the Colby Community College Livestock Judging Team. Livestock judging is where 4 of the same type of animal are placed into a show ring and judgers try to determine which one is the best or class winner, 2nd, 3rd and finally 4th.  After they have judged 6 classes of cattle, 3 classes of pigs, and 3 classes of sheep judgers have to say why they placed the classes the way they did. These are called reasons. Judgers give reasons one at a time to a reasons judge who looked at the class and placed it as well. The reasons judge is looking for how accurate a judger describes the animal and a logic behind why they placed the class the way they did. Flat Aggie did very good for his first time judging! He placed the whole class of heifers correctly and gave an accurate set of reasons. Coach Bowey says that there’s still room for improvement, but with practice and dedication Flat Aggie could become a great judger!  

Flat Aggie visited the Veterinary Technology students at Colby Community College. The Vet Techs take care of ten dogs and six cats per semester along with learning the techniques to care for animals in the future. These students learn skills like venipuncture, dentistry, radiology, as well as clinical skills. 

Flat Aggie helped the sophomore section one students x-ray a dog-named Raja. When taking x-rays, it is important to be protected from scatter radiation, so the tech students are wearing the lead shields on their bodies and necks. The students also had the opportunity to x-ray a pigeon. 

Next Flat Aggie joined the vet tech clinical pathology class to learn about ectoparasites, or parasites that live on the outside of the body. Flat Aggie even got the opportunity to look through the microscopes.

He even made a new friend named Whinny! 

Last Flat Aggie joined the vet tech class and the equine tech class to learn about stem cells. 

The students watched and helped collect fat cells to; learned the procedure to change the cells; and then watched the cells being re-injected into the joints. 

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