Interactive website being developed by 4-H animal science program specialist

Amy Powell started working to help 4-H’ers 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 Iowa State University Extension and Outreach 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.

Powell, a 4-H animal science program specialist in Iowa State University’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. 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.

The interactive web-based curriculum also will help students understand the science behind animal care. She hopes students gain a better understanding about the reasons why animals need certain amounts of feed or why they behave in a certain way. “Those are the questions I’m trying to help them answer,” Powell said. “Once our students become better educated, they can provide better answers when someone asks them.”

The first ten interactive web modules for swine and beef will be ready in the spring.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet