This year’s NJ Junior Breeder Symposium will be held online, via Zoom, from 8:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 27 (NO fee this year). We have put together an all-star line-up of Rutgers professors, veterinarians, animal care professionals, graduate students, and volunteers. Register today (it’s FREE) to learn about animal care, behavior, training, breeding, showmanship, and more through three interactive sessions that you choose! Our experts will engage both youth and adults through live demonstrations, discussions, illustrated talks, and games.
- Saturday morning, March 27
- Online, via Zoom
- No Fee this Year
- All Youth and Adults Must Register by March 15
- More details, along with a Zoom link, will be shared a week before the event.
Sessions are designed for those interested in horses, cattle, sheep, goats, and rabbits. There are also some more general sessions that are useful for those in any animal project. See the details below.
Thank you to Farm Credit East for their generous support of this year’s symposium. The symposium is a collaboration between Rutgers Cooperative Extension and the NJ Department of Agriculture. 4-H and FFA members interested in low-interest loans through the Junior Breeder Program should contact Lynn Mathews at firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions about symposium offerings or registration, contact Chad Ripberger at email@example.com.
Once you proceed to the registration page, you will be asked to choose one session from each time slot:
Session #1 (9:00 a.m.)
1A – Equine Behavior and Behavior Modification, Dr. Sara Malone, Rutgers University. Ever wondered why your horse does that? Learn about basic horse behavior and how to use your knowledge of that behavior to train your horse. Learn to teach your horse to perform simple tricks, like smiling or bowing.
1B – Diseases that Animals and Humans Share, Laura Eppinger, County 4-H Agent, Rutgers Cooperative Extension. Using an interactive game, participants will gain an understanding of zoonotic diseases and how to prevent them, the ways diseases can pass from animals to people, and careers in this field (such as a state veterinarian and an epidemiologist).
1C – Got Issues with Your Kids (or lambs)? Dr. Christina Wilson, Equiheart Veterinary Services. Dr. Wilson will discuss strategies for helping newborn kids and lambs that are rejected, orphaned, small, weak, chilled, not nursing, etc.
1D – Rabbit Health Issues, Denise Ancharski-Stutler, rabbit breeder and 4-H volunteer. This session will provide a basic overview of diseases and illness, including RHD (Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease), with a discussion of preventative measures.
Session #2 (10:00 a.m.)
2A – What’s in a Connection? – Measuring and Understanding Human-Horse Interactions, Ellen Rankins, PhD Candidate, Rutgers University. You’ll explore different techniques researchers use to investigate human-horse interactions. This interactive session will feature opportunities for you to discuss and try these research methods.
2B – Animal Identification Skillathon, Dr Mike Westendorf, Rutgers Cooperative Extension Livestock Specialist. Learn the basics of animal identification methods, both old and new, through this interactive session.
2C – Biosecurity on the Farm and at the Show, Dr. Linda Detwiler, USDA, APHIS, Veterinary Services. Learn sound biosecurity practices that will help protect you and your animals from the introduction and spread of diseases on the farm and as you eventually travel to fairs and shows.
2D – Rabbit Breeding with a Purpose, Meg Whitehouse, 4-H volunteer. Whether you are planning for future show champions or a meat project, learn the basics of a sound breeding program.
Session #3 (11:00 a.m.)
3A – Kahoot! – Equine Behavior Trivia Game, Jennifer Weinert, PhD Candidate, Rutgers University. Test your knowledge of horse behavior with this interactive game. Questions will feature information from the earlier presentations as well as general behavior topics. Participants will need access to a second device (i.e. phone, tablet, etc.).
3B – Aging Ruminants by Looking at their Teeth (Dentition), Dr. Mike Westendorf, Rutgers Cooperative Extension Livestock Specialist. We will look inside the mouth of several animals and determine how old they are based on their teeth. Session will include cattle, sheep, and goats.
3C – Clicker Training – Not Just for Dogs! Rebecca Potosky, Rutgers Animal Care Program. Discover the basics of learning processes and clicker training – to teach any animal tricks and behaviors! (The presenter has even clicker-trained her chicken!)
3D – Rabbit Breed ID and Showmanship Skills, Zachary Newman, 4-H Alum and ARBA Judge. Learn the tricks of the trade from a judge! Attend this session to strengthen your understanding of both breeds and showmanship.
We look forward to your participation – register today!
By Carol Ward, Somerset County 4-H Agent, and Chad Ripberger, Mercer County 4-H Agent, Rutgers Cooperative Extension