Bumpers College Students Visit Australasia to Learn About Human and Animal Interactions
The Bumpers College group participating in the first International Programs trip to Australia and New Zealand included (front row, from left) Brittany Rodgers, Kelly Fowler, Mackenzie Jennings, Lesleigh Beer, Morgan Stanley, Anna Castleberry, Addy Gray and Olga Brazhkina, and (second row) Aaron Edwards, Robert Hudgens, Sara Jepsen, Jordan Payton, Abby Ratton and Justin Hamm. Not pictured: Rachel Knox.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Students in the U of A's Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences recently participated in the college's first Human and Animal Interactions in Australasia International Programs faculty-led trip to Australia and New Zealand.
Lesleigh Beer, Justin Hamm and others joined faculty leader Kathi Jogan on the two-week study abroad trip Dec. 26 through Jan. 10.
"You learn more than you think you will, just being there and in the culture," said Hamm, an animal science junior from Alpena. "It was cool to see the different variety of animals. Every day was something totally different and it was cool."
"Me being introverted, I never really expected to talk to everyone, but by the end, we really did bond," said Beer, a poultry science senior from Huntsville. "I got to see the kiwi fruit and the kiwi birds. Exciting things never made it feel like work."
The Bumpers College program combines lectures and hands-on learning experiences, giving students an understanding and practical knowledge of animal productions and research in Australia and New Zealand. The trip provided students a global perspective of human interactions and animal management practices with various livestock and wildlife species.
"Among the main goals of this program was to focus students on species, conservation advances, management practices and human-animal interactions specific to New Zealand and Australia," said Jogan, an instructor in the Department of Animal Science and head of the equine program. "It helps students better appreciate how and why U.S. practices vary from those from another part of the world."
"It was really interesting to see the different management practices," said Hamm.
Experiences included visiting Hobbiton, where Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit were filmed; touring Cambridge Stud, an internationally renowned thoroughbred farm; watching the agrodome farm show; and visiting a deer genetics lab to learn about red deer genetics, pasture management, and environmental and nutritional practices, among many other experiences.
"This fast-paced travel adventure incorporated activities with animals, interactive experiences with native cultures and opportunities to absorb the spectacular geography," said Jogan. "All students profited from the expertise of professionals in academic and animal industries, interacting with native species in this world region, and identifying best practices in management and conservation. Two of our students were recently offered opportunities to return to New Zealand to collect data for honors projects, and one has been offered an internship in Australia."
Students took turns blogging and posting photos about their experiences, which can be read and seen here.
"This was the first time Bumpers College has offered a January intercession program, and Dr. Jogan's program was excellent," said Assistant Dean for Student Programs Leslie Edgar. "She had a packed program for the students where they were able to interact with animals and humans in two countries. I feel fortunate I was able to experience this program with her and 15 of our college's finest students."
For information about Bumpers College international program opportunities, go here. Bumpers College offers faculty-led programs to Belgium, England, London, China and Mozambique; courses and exchanges in France and Austria; internships in Greece and Scotland; and research in Brazil, the Philippines and Greece.
"By any means possible, everyone should take a walkabout to another country," said Beer. "It's a wonderful, eye-opening experience. I simply can't say enough good things about it."
About the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences: Bumpers College provides life-changing opportunities to position and prepare graduates who will be leaders in the businesses associated with foods, family, the environment, agriculture, sustainability and human quality of life; and who will be first-choice candidates of employers looking for leaders, innovators, policy makers and entrepreneurs. The college is named for Dale Bumpers, former Arkansas governor and longtime U.S. senator who made the state prominent in national and international agriculture.
About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.
Jacob Logsdon, communications intern
Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences
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