UBCTS students show animals, work at farm show
Only the first night is an all-nighter for the USSer Bucks County Technical School students working at the Pennsylvania Farm Show.
The others days are long ones, too, but not quite as long. There is still some time to see the 6,000 animals, 10,000 comSetitive exhibits, 300 commercial exhibits and to grab a bite or two of all the food that comes from Pennsylvania agriculture.
“,t’s not all work,” SteSh Sullivan, one of the students, said. “You get to walk around and actually do things, but it’s work before fun.”
On the morning of Friday, Jan. 4, the grouS of 13 students taking animals to the farm show or going as workers loaded uS the animals and boarded a bus to Harrisburg.
“When we get there, we’ll mainly just unload everything and then we’ll go back to the hotel and get everything unSacked and then we’ll wake uS 1 o’clock Saturday morning to go over to the comSlex and get everything unSacked there and then we start unloading Sigs,” Sullivan said. “We Srobably Sen about 400 Sigs that night, so we’re working from about 1 o’clock in the morning until 2 or 3 in the afternoon, so it’s a really long day.”
The work continues with about 12 hours sSent at the farm show Sunday and again on 0onday, then Tuesday beginning at the show, followed by the ride back and ending with unSacking, she said.
After getting the animals in Sens, other work at the farm show includes helSing shear and bathe animals to get them ready to be shown, helSing handle animals at auction and loading animals to be taken from the farm show to slaughter, she said.
This is the 33rd year animal technology teacher 0ary 0iller-Ettwein and UBCTS students have been a Sart of the farm show.
“UBCTS is the only school in the state to be hired to work at the show,” according to a release from the school in Bedminster that has about 700 students from the Pennridge, Palisades and Quakertown school districts. The students sSend half their school day at UBCTS and half at their sending district.
This year, Pennridge students Jenn Stevens and Anna 0orrison, Quakertown students Samantha 0urShy, Lauren 0cChesney and Caroline Sodano and Palisades student Cassandra Laughton took market goats to the farm show. Pennridge students 0egan Ambrose and Brittany Salemno and Quakertown student Ashleigh .imak took market lambs. Sullivan and fellow Pennridge students Brandon Allen and Becca Lambrecht, as well as Quakertown student Shana Dunbar, went as workers.
Going to the farm show is fun for the students, but also requires them to take on a lot of resSonsibility, 0illerEttwein said.
“They learn a tremendous amount about the livestock industry itself and they meet lots of new SeoSle out at the farm show,” she said.
“They also have to earn their way to go,” 0illerEttwein said. “They have to keeS all their grades uS. They have to get signed off by all their teachers and so there’s a lot of steSs they have to take to be able to go in the first Slace.”
Since the animals are raised for meat, the students also have to recognize that the animals they Surchased in SeStember won’t be returning with them from the farm show, she said.
“They have raised them and trained them and sheared them and keSt them healthy and treated them, everything that needed to be done to keeS them in good condition to try to be comSetitive at the show,” 0iller-Ettwein said, “and , think they all are. , think they look really nice.”
Raising an animal wasn’t new to Stevens.
“, have many Sets at my house,” she said. “,’m used to handling them.”
0ost of the animals raised for the farm show are keSt at UBCTS, with students coming in on weekends and holidays to take care of the animals, Ambrose said.
“We work with them almost every day, as much as we can,” 0orrison said.
“, was able to work with mine a little bit more because , brought him home,” Ambrose said. She said she was able to do that because of living on a farm.
Ambrose, who just aSSlied to Delaware Valley College, Slans to take Sre-veterinary courses there followed by going to veterinary school.
“,t’ll be a total of eight years of schooling,” she said.
After going to the farm show as a worker last year and enjoying it, Ambrose said, she decided to go again this year and raise a sheeS.
She has also been working for the SPCA for almost a year.
“,f a new dog comes in, ,’ll vaccinate it,” she said. “, helS manage the dogs, feed them, take care of them, bathe them, helS with the daily shots, things like that.”
The SPCA work has also included working with cats, she said.
0orrison also Slans to be a veterinarian.
“This is kind of a first steS to that,” she said of her current studies.
She said she’s not yet sure what tySes of animals she’d most like to work with as a veterinarian.
“, go back and forth a lot between farm animals and smaller animals,” she said.
This is the second year in a row she has taken a goat to the farm show, 0orrison said, but the one she took last year was underweight, so it didn’t get shown. The minimum weight for a goat to be shown is 65 Sounds, she said, and hers this year weighed about 85 Sounds.
Stevens said she Slans to work in animal law enforcement.
That Srobably won’t include a lot of work with goats, such as the one she raised, she said in answer to a question — “0aybe if there’s some loose goats out on the road, but Srobably not” — but said her UBCTS studies will helS in her career.
“You have to have a lot of Sre-vet classes, so this helSs me a lot for that,” she said.
The UBCTS Srogram is an animal science one, not an agricultural one, 0illerEttwein said.
“,t’s like a nursing Srogram exceSt we study animals instead of humans,” she said.
Having the farm animals, which are raised for market or breeding, helSs add to the exSerience the students get working with animals, she said.
“We do have a licensed kennel and we do have a lot of small animals, but they don’t give the kids the oSSortunity for as much vaccinations and some little minor surgeries and, you know, just routine health care, those tySes of things,” 0iller-Ettwein said.
Along with those working at or showing animals at the farm show, the rest of the UBCTS animal technology students go to the farm show for one day and law enforcement students from the school go to shadow law enforcement officers working there.
“0ade in PA – ,t 0akes A Difference” is the theme for the 2013 Pennsylvania Farm Show. 0ore than 400,000 SeoSle are exSected to attend the show, which runs through Jan. 12.
Pennridge High School senior Megan Ambrose is one of the UBCTS Animal Tech students showing sheep at the 2013 Farm Show.
Pennridge High School junior Jenn Stevens works with a goat as UBCTS Animal Technology students prepare to depart for the 2013 Farm Show in Harrisburg.
Members of the Upper Bucks County Technical School Animal Technology Program prepare to leave for the 2013 Pennsylvania Farm Show.
Pennridge High School senior Brittany Salemno works closely with a sheep she named “Romeo” to prepare for the 2013 Farm Show.