Bovine Educational Symposium is a unique opportunity for veterinary and animal science students to experience the many facets of the cattle industry. For one week, approximately 50 students plus veterinary faculty tour a region
of the United States, visiting dairy farms, feedlots, cow-calf operations, processing facilities, and local bovine veterinarians.
Made up of second year veterinary students, this annual symposium is planned and coordinated solely by students with input from faculty advisors.
Student Perspectives on Cowabunga:
“I was most surprised by how incorrect the ideas that I had about large farms were before the trip. I learned a lot about the importance of management, and that the type of farm really means nothing about the way animals are treated.“ –>Class of 2017—Clinician Scientist Focus, 1st Cowabunga Trip
“This trip was particularly nice to see the differences in confinement grazing, and organic dairies. It’s one thing to learn information out of a book, take tests, see movies, pictures, etc. BUT there is nothing like actually being out there with the farmers, families, growers talking about their individual farm, problems, positives and negatives. In order to see the REAL deal, you have to experience it. “
>Class of 2017, Food Animal/ Equine Focus. 1st Cowabunga Trip
“There are few opportunities to see the depth of the food animal production industry except through this program. I am a small animal focused student but it is important for me to know where my food comes from and to validate or de-bunk the rumors and beliefs of our culture surrounding this issue. Cowabunga has readily prepared me to answer the questions that acquaintances and clients may ask about the beef and dairy industry.”
> Class of 2016, Small Animal Focus. 2nd Cowabunga Trip
“As an aspiring food animal clinician, being involved in food animal medicine is much more than just treating diseases and diagnosing problems. Cowabunga gives students, who like myself come from very little agricultural background, the opportunity to see just how involved veterinarians and producers are in ensuring a safe and wholesome food supply. This trip is life changing, and one every veterinary student should experience once, in their career.”
> Danielle Lindquist, Food Animal Focus, Class of 2016. 2nd Cowabunga Trip
“The slaughter house was the most surprising thing to me because I had never been in one before. I was rather impressed how well they handled the animals even though it was a tough experience for me to be a part of. I was happy to learn and see how animals are processed and to know they are well cared for before they are processed.” >Class of 2015, Mixed Animal Focus. 2nd Cowabunga Trip.