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Gut Feeling

Students at a Chicago public high school got some hands-on—and hands-in—experience with two cannulated cows that CALS dairy science management instructor Ted Halbach and dairy science PhD student Shane Fredin brought down to the Windy City.

Although the Chicago High School for Agricultural
Sciences (CHSAS) is a magnet school for ag and life sciences, its urban location limits student opportunities to get up close and personal with farm animals. The cows were part of a workshop teaching students how feed is digested in the four compartments of a dairy cow’s stomach.

“The students were stunned that they got to put their arm in a cow,” notes CHSAS instructor Maggie Kendall. “After the first brave soul, they all lined up with gloves, eager to follow suit. They were enthralled and it was organized in a way that kept their attention. They had just enough time at each station to absorb the material and ask questions.”

CALS regularly recruits students from CHSAS, sparking interest and cultivating relationships through such activities as workshops and frequent visits by Tom Browne, CALS assistant dean for minority affairs. Currently five students from CHSAS are undergrads at CALS.