Ohio State Hosts Welfare Contest

Welfare Judging Team

The 2015 Intercollegiate Welfare Judging/Assessment Contest was held November 14 and 15 at The Ohio State University. Undergraduate students Allison Meek (Animal Sciences), Jennifer Frost (Animal Sciences), Rachel Park (Psychology), Hannah Slykerman (Animal Sciences), Bradley Hogshead (Animal Sciences), and Nicole Danszczak (Animal Sciences) competed.

An Ohio State three-person undergraduate team, co-coached by Caitlyn Mullins and Allison Pullin, placed 3rd overall, while Brad Hogshead received 4th place overall for individuals. The team was composed of Rachel Park, Hannah Slykerman, and Bradley Hogshead (left to right in photo below).

The Ohio State veterinary student team received 1st place and was coached by Animal Sciences alumna Dr. Jessica Pempek.

The contest took place at the Ohio Union on The Ohio State University campus. Species covered in the 2015 contest included urban vs. rural heavy pulling draft horses, llamas, Asian elephants, and Jersey dairy heifers (live assessment at the Waterman Dairy Unit).

Mission of the contest: "The Animal Welfare Judging and Assessment Contest (AWJAC) aims to provide a unique educational experience while strengthening student vocabulary and reasoning skills. The AWJAC teaches students to assess the welfare of animals in a variety of settings using science-based methods and reasoning. Students are given the opportunity to weigh evidence and present sound evaluations. This contest ensures that tomorrow's leaders in the animal industries develop strong communication skills and acquire enhanced knowledge of animal welfare." AWJAC.org

The contest was sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Student AVMA, Animal Welfare and Behavior Group (ABWG), and Ohio Poultry Association.

The 2016 event is scheduled to occur at The Ohio State University and will likely focus on guinea pigs, breeding dogs, and sheep, and the live on-farm assessment will cover poultry.