SDSU animal science students attend academic quadrathlon

Courtesy photo: The SDSU Academic Quadrathlon team members with their certificates, from left: Emily Nold, Ty Schoelerman, Aidan Friesen and Grady Gullickson.

BROOKINGS – South Dakota State University animal science students participated in the American Society of Animal Science Midwest Academic Quadrathlon in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska, March 13-14.

The SDSU team consisted of Emily Nold, sophomore animal science student from Rutland; Grady Gullickson, senior animal science student from Flandreau; Aidan Friesen, junior animal science student from Olivet; and Ty Schoelerman, senior animal science student from Everly, Iowa. 

“The quadrathlon gives students practical opportunities to pull together all that they’ve been learning in their classes and apply it,” said Rosie Nold, professor and assistant head of the Department of Animal Science. “It was also beneficial for students to listen to the meetings and presentations on current research for ruminant nutrition, monogastric nutrition and other areas. The students also had the opportunity to network with professionals in animal science at the event.” 

The academic quadrathlon consists of four events: laboratory practicum, written exam, oral presentation and quiz bowl. The team earned first place in the laboratory practicum portion of the contest. 

In the laboratory practicum, the team demonstrates its ability to perform physical skills. Each station lasts 15 to 20 minutes and involves the entire team. The team then works together on a challenge relating to a specific species such as beef or swine or a disciplinary area such as nutrition or meats.

For the written exam portion of the quadrathlon, students answer questions about any area related to animal production and products. The team works together to complete the exam in 60 minutes, dividing questions as they see fit.

In the oral presentation, students choose from a list of topics related to animal agriculture and are given 60 minutes to prepare the presentation. 

In the quiz bowl section, the team answers questions on any topic that relates to animal agriculture that can be answered in a short period of time. Each round is made up of “toss up” questions, and after the series of “toss-up” questions, teams can earn the chance to get extra points on a bonus question. The “toss-up” questions must be answered individually, while the team can confer together on the bonus questions. 

“It was super cool being on a team with fellow students and seeing what you’ve learned,” said Emily Nold. “Placing first in the lab practicum was exciting because it shows that we are good at the hands-on skills.” 

Events like the quadrathlon provide students the opportunity to utilize their skills and see firsthand how their education has progressed throughout their time at SDSU. 

“It was neat to see where my knowledge is at and how far I’ve come in the last four years,” said Gullickson.

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