Members of the Texas A&M University Saddle & Sirloin Club enjoyed a weekend of industry education, networking and service experiences at the 95th annual National Block and Bridle Convention held Oct. 23-26, 2014 at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.
Students attending from Texas A&M included Sydney Reese, Kayley Wall, Kaysi Dean, Sierra Francis, Bridget O’Brien, Gretchen Vilas and Jenny Rookey along with faculty advisor Dr. David Forrest.
The weekend started with the national business meeting and the Pride of Schools Fair, a socializing event that gave each school the opportunity to showcase their clubs and departments.
S&S members toured the Pitchfork Ranch and 6666 Ranch along with the Ranching Heritage Center on Friday. Cowboy history was showcased at the Pitchfork Ranch, a ranch that has been operating since 1883. The tour of the horse division at the 6666 Ranch was a highlight for all. During high breeding season, the ranch has more than 1,400 horses and 7,000 cow/calf pairs on more than 400,000 acres. Members met several legendary stallions, viewed the modern semen labs and vet clinic on site, and walked through the mare facilities. Dinner was hosted at the Bayer Museum of Agriculture.
On Saturday, keynote speakers from Elanco, NCBA and the College of Arts & Sciences at Texas Tech presented information on food security, agriculture on Capitol Hill, and the effect the changing climate has on west Texas.
For the service experience, Block and Bridle teamed up with Kids Against Hunger to help package healthy meals for hungry and malnourished children both in the United States and abroad. The 250 convention attendees packaged more than 31,000 meals in less than one hour.
Members also attended break-out sessions focusing on beef, swine, sheep and goats, veterinary sciences, meat science and poultry. All break-out sessions were led by industry leaders and provided a great opportunity for networking.
Kayley Wall, a senior animal science major, received the second place Outstanding Junior Scholarship Award during the awards banquet held Saturday.
Texas A&M Saddle & Sirloin members greatly enjoyed the opportunity to represent the Department of Animal Science, Forrest said, and they look forward to attending the 96th annual National Block and Bridle Convention hosted by Oklahoma State University next fall.
For more information regarding news from the Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M University, please contact Courtney Coufal at firstname.lastname@example.org or (979) 845-1542.