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Come experience the harvest: Virginia Tech students prepare for Hokie Harvest sale


BLACKSBURG, Va., Oct. 24, 2004 – Animal science students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech are finalizing details for the 10th annual Hokie Harvest beef cattle and equine sale to be held on Friday, Oct. 29. The horse sale begins at 6 p.m. at the Campbell Arena with the beef cattle sale starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Livestock Judging Pavilion located on Plantation Rd. in Blacksburg.

A wide variety of horse breeds and ages will among the 27 horses offered for sale. The beef cattle program is offering 40 head of Angus, Simmental, Gelbvieh, and Hereford cattle of various ages and sexes. Horse demonstrations begin at 3 p.m. in Campbell Arena, and buyer registration for both beef and horse sales will begin at 3:30 p.m.

The four-year animal science and two-year agriculture technology students in the Livestock Merchandising and Equine Behavior and Training classes manage the annual sale. These classes provides students with practical experiences in organizing and conducting a sale while gaining experience in handling, fitting, and training beef cattle and horses. Since the first sale in 1995, the student-organized beef cattle and equine production sale has provided hands-on merchandising experience for more than 870 students.

Students enrolled in the Livestock Merchandising class help with sale preparations by serving on one of 10 committees that are devoted to a specific aspect of the sale such advertising, clerking, registration, livestock photography, and animal display and sale prep. The Equine Behavior and Training students work with the sale horses throughout the semester training and grooming the animals.

"I really enjoyed taking Equine Behavior and Training last year. It was a great experience to be able to work with horses bred here and know I was contributing to the Hokie Harvest Sale. Now that I am in Livestock Merchandising, I am getting a whole new view of the sale preparation, and I can't wait to do it again," said Lane Cyboron, a senior engineering major and four-year equine production minor.

Funds generated though the Hokie Harvest Sale are re-invested into the beef cattle and equine science programs. In the past nine years, the Hokie Harvest Sale has generated more than $830,000 to augment funding in these areas.

For more information about the equine science program and sale horses, visit http://www.equine.vt.edu or contact Ann Dunnington, professor of animal science, at (540) 231-9179.

For more information about the cattle breeding program and the sale cattle, visit http://www.apsc.vt.edu/centers/beef/beefcenter.html or contact Dan Eversole, associate professor of animal science, at (540) 231- 4738.