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Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

Meet undergraduate Deanna Puchalski

Deanna Puchalski

Deanna Puchalski

Deanna Puchalski grew up in Middlefield, Connecticut. For more than a decade, her family has operated Laurel Brook Farm where she cares for the horses, goats and chickens in addition to assisting with riding lessons, summer camps and clinics held at the farm. As a pre-vet animal science major, she plans to become a practicing large animal veterinarian. Puchalski enjoys her role as a University tour guide, as well as an animal science mentor. Here is what she said about her experiences as a CAHNR student.

What attracted you to UConn? Being a larger institution, UConn offers an amazing quantity and quality of opportunities and resources to its students, but at the same time, it provides a small school feel. UConn has strong academic programs, especially in science, and I knew that I would be exposed to beneficial experiences here that would impact my future. UConn also has a great network of alumni who are always welcoming when students reach out to them, and I have definitely benefited from a few UConn alumni in the veterinary field who have mentored me and given valuable career advice.

Why did you choose your particular major? I first heard about animal science at Accepted Students Day, when Dr. Steven Zinn, the department head, spoke about the major and what it entails. Animal science as a major provides both academic and practical experience in dealing with animals and their health, nutrition, etc. My major would also give me the opportunity to work further with the farm animals on campus, which I appreciated since I want to work with farm animals in the future. In addition to offering courses in animal science topics of interest, I’m on a pre-vet track, so my major works to incorporate all the prerequisites for veterinary school. (more…)

CAHNR in the news

newsprintSome of CAHNR’s people, places and programs made the news recently. The bolded topics are linked to initial media coverage. The roman text links go to additional information.

YouTube. 3-20-17. Posted the testimonial of Richard Dodakian, who suffered exertional heat stroke at the Falmouth Road Race. His life was saved by Korey Stringer Institute staff members. One of those people is Robert Huggins, a postdoctoral fellow in kinesiology, who is on the video.

New York Times. 3-21-17. Quoted Lindsay DiStefano, an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology, who spoke of the benefits of physical activity in the classroom.

tctMD. 3-21-17. Announced a research conclusion that there is “no convincing evidence of measurable verbal or nonverbal memory dysfunction due to statin medication.” These findings come from the research of Associate Professor Beth Taylor, who a faculty member in the Department of Kinesiology. (more…)

UConn Dairy Science: Home to one of nation’s top dairy herds, maker of legendary ice cream

MCCconeA scoop of Salted Caramel Crunch and a scoop of Toasted Almond Amaretto nestle together in a cup. If you can, let it sit for five minutes so the ice cream just begins to melt, creating a little pool in the bottom of the cup. (In July, this step is not required.) Now, spoon a small amount from each sphere, saucing it with some of the liquid from the bottom of the cup.
Oh. My. Goodness.

This mini-miracle must be the result of some sort of wizardry: Milk from the cows on Horsebarn Hill goes into the shiny steel vats of the UConn Creamery. A spell is cast, and poof! The best ice cream in the world appears. But there’s no magic here; what makes this sublime treat is passion, hard work and scrupulous attention to detail—along with the best ingredients you can get.

UConn’s ice cream begins with the milking cows in the Kellogg Dairy Center (KDC) on Horsebarn Hill, just about 700 yards from the Dairy Bar. (The cows you see grazing on the hill are their not-yet-bred daughters, called heifers.) The UConn Department of Animal Science’s dairy herd is a mix of Holsteins and Jerseys, and a remarkable group of dams it is. The herd has just been ranked by the venerable Hoard’s Dairyman as one of the top twenty of approximately 47,000 dairy herds in the country, receiving a gold ”Best of the Best” National Dairy Quality Award. This accomplishment, extraordinary in itself, is made all the more so by the fact that many of those who tend to the cows are students studying dairy management and milk production in an experiential learning environment. Only one other university herd, from the University of Wisconsin, made the Hoard’s list. The list recognizes milk quality, the primary measure of which is the milk’s somatic cell count (SCC). The lower the number of somatic cells in the milk, the better the animals’ health and the longer the shelf life and finer the quality of the dairy products made from it. This starts to explain why the ice cream’s so good.

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Historical image of the week

Co-ed study of rats and mice nutrition

Co-ed study of rats and mice nutrition. By Jerauld A. Manter, 1951. From the UConn Libraries Archives and Special Collections.

Image of the week

Since 1980, the DEEP Wildlife Division’s “Connecticut Bluebird Project” has been distributing rough-cut lumber to organized groups to construct, install, and maintain bluebird nest boxes. This annual program has been highly successful in generating tens of thousands of bluebird boxes and helping restore bluebird populations statewide. Photo: Paul J. Fusco /DEEP Wildlife Division