Interactive Website Will Teach Students Animal Care Basics


Source: Iowa State University

via FarmJournal's Pork - December 3, 2018


Amy Powell started working to help 4-Hers throughout Iowa understand the basics of animal care when she came to Iowa State University in 2014.


To find out how those youth acquire information about animal care Powell set up focus groups with extension professionals, volunteers and parents in five Iowa counties. She found that there were no guidelines in place for acquiring and disseminating information about animal care.


“Out of the five programs only one person said they ever used an extension publication. Another source said they asked someone in the county how they raised their animals, which could create problems if they were doing something incorrectly,” Powell said.


Powell, a 4-H animal science program specialist in Iowa State's animal science department, coordinates curriculum and activities for more than 16,000 youth enrolled in Iowa’s 4-H animal science projects, FFA and ag-focused classrooms.


“There was a huge need to create accurate animal care information and have it online for easy access,” Powell said.


To make animal care information available Powell decided to create an interactive video series called, Animal University. To help fund the project the Iowa Pork Producers Association gave $325,000 and the Iowa Beef Industry Council gave $100,000.


Powell plans to produce modules that are both self-directed, but also can be used by leaders during 4-H meetings. She also hopes the programs can be used by teachers within a classroom.


“It’s set up on an interactive platform,” Powell said...