Block and Bridle to host Animal Learning Day

Mariah Griffith

The first annual Animal Learning Day will be hosted by the ISU Block and Bridle Club from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Jeff and Deb Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center. The event is free and open to the public, and will include approximately 20 attractions including educational exhibits, professional speakers, a film, live animals and a “Taste of Iowa” food sampling portion provided by event sponsors.

In the hands-on exhibits, volunteers from the Block and Bridle Club will showcase many species including chickens, pigs, cows and goats.

“Quite a few of the animals [we’ll bring in] are from the teaching farms here at Iowa State,” said Matt Schulte, president of the Block and Bridle Club.

Schulte said although this is the first stand-alone Animal Learning Day the club is hosting, some club members have experience hosting a similar event as a component of the now-defunct Veishea.

“When we had Veishea, it was easier from our end due to the advertisement and the fact that many people were already here for the celebration,” Schulte said. “We’re trying to advertise and hit it hard because we want people to come, but we don’t know how exactly many to be expecting.”

Other Block and Bridle members have high hopes for the event as well.

“Hopefully we’ll get this first year off to a good start,” said Matthew Romoser, co-chair of Animal Learning Day. “We want to bounce back and continue to provide the Ames community an opportunity to come and see what’s going on in animal agriculture.”

This event is not only fun and food-filled, but educational.

“We hope that this event gives consumers a better understanding of where their food comes from, answers some of their questions regarding their food concerns and gives them an appreciation for what farmers and agriculturalists do to ensure a safe and wholesome food supply,” said Morgan Pittz, co-chair of Animal Learning Day.

Noted sponsors include the Iowa Pork Producers, the Iowa Beef Industry Council, the Iowa Sheep Industry, Olde Main, the ISU Dairy Science Extension Division, and the ISU Dairy Science Club.