Learning about cows from the inside, literally

Wednesday, October 2, 2019
FFA students visiting the University of Missouriís Field Day at the Southwest Research Center near Mt. Vernon received a primer from Reagan Bluel, right, dairy specialist with the Extension Service, from Monett, on the rumen in cows. Bluel described the symbiotic relationship between cows and their digestive bacteria, noting they live together in comfort as long as the cow keeps eating to provide a constant flow of material for the bacteria. Murray Bishoff/Cassville Democrat

FFA students visiting the University of Missouriís Field Day at the Southwest Research Center near Mt. Vernon received a primer from Reagan Bluel, right, dairy specialist with the Extension Service, from Monett, on the rumen in cows.

After learning about the four stomachs in a cow, students at Field Day met canulated cows, with a surgically created hole in their side, enabling students to reach inside the rumen and feel the food inside one of the stomachs. Shelly Wilder, right, of Branson, reached into this cow wearing a glove up to her upper arm, finding the experience a bit too vivid. Students from Monett High Schoolís agriculture strain of GO CAPS shepherded visiting students through their canulated cow experience. At left is MHS GO CAPS student Shelby Coursey. Murray Bishoff/Cassville Democrat
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