Clint Rusk Sees Future of OSU and Oklahoma in OYE Exhibitors and their LivestockTue, 18 Mar 2014 12:32:11 CDT
Livestock exhibitions continued Tuesday at the Oklahoma Youth Expo in Oklahoma City. On hand for this year's event is Dr. Clint Rusk, head of the Animal Science Department at Oklahoma State University. He tells Radio Oklahoma Network's Ron Hays he's been very impressed with the students and the animals that he's seen so far.
"This is an excellent set of young people. And I think the first two days we showed 1,000 gilts each day. And lots of heifers here. We're in the commercial heifers now, our final division. I believe there's 190 head of commercial heifers.
"And the students range in age from those who are seniors in high school and are potentially going to come to college next fall to some youngsters that are just getting started at their first OYE and it's exciting to see both groups here. I just enjoy the opportunity to come work with young people and animals."
Rusk says his work at OYE is a very worthwhile investment of his time for a number of reasons.
"This is our future. When we think about the fact that we're in the education business and these young people are going to go somewhere-a lot of them-to further education after they get out of high school. We want to be the 'go to' place at Oklahoma State. It's natural that these young people who have an interest in animals might be potentially interested in coming into animal science."
He said he's seen a lot of exceptional animals and exhibitors so far, but he was particularly happy with what he's seen in the heifer ring and what it portends for Oklahoma's future.
"I was particularly impressed here in this ring earlier today in the bred-and-owned of the maintainer competition. It looked like there were almost 20 exhibitors who had raised their own heifer and came back out in the bred and owned competition. That, to me, is an excellent start for a cow herd and it's good to see the families are investing in heifers to help our young people become our future cattle producers here in Oklahoma."
Rusk said he is expecting continued healthy growth in the Department of Animal Science at OSU. The program had its largest number of undergraduates ever last fall with 960 students from 38 states.
"We're continuing to recruit and I think we'll be up this fall based on those that have applied so far. I don't know if we'll be over 1,000, but we're anticipating potentially over 1,000 undergraduate students."
He said they have added six faculty members over the last two years to handle the growth and the teamwork between the older and the newer faculty has resulted in a very strong program.
The Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Multi Media Platform coverage of the Oklahoma Youth Expo is powered by Devon Energy- where commitment runs deep- and by the Title Sponsor of the 2014 OYE, McDonald's- I'm Loving It.
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