11th annual Hokie Harvest Sale set for Oct. 28

BLACKSBURG, Va., Oct. 17, 2005 – Virginia Tech students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences are making the final preparations for the 11th annual Hokie Harvest beef cattle and horse sale to be held Friday, Oct. 28. The horse sale begins at 6 p.m. in the Alphin-Stuart Livestock Teaching Arena campus and the beef cattle sale begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Livestock Judging Pavilion, both located on Plantation Road in Blacksburg.

Thirty-nine head of registered cattle will be offered for sale. Breeders of Angus, Hereford, Simmental, and Charolais cattle have an opportunity to select AI-sired progeny from a cross section of the Beef Teaching Herd. Several heifer calves with tremendous brood cow potential, mature cows with proven production records, promising herd sires with predictable genetics, and several yearling heifers will be sold. Twenty-eight horses of various breeds and ages will be sold. A demonstration of the horses in-hand and under saddle by the Equine Behavior and Training students begins at 3 p.m. in the Alphin-Stuart Livestock Teaching Arena.

“The Hokie Harvest Sale has developed a significant reputation of selling high-quality Virginia Tech horses and beef cattle over the past 10 years and has provided authentic classroom experience in livestock merchandising to our undergraduate students,” said Dan Eversole, associate professor of animal and poultry sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “Students have played an integral part in the success of this sale. The nearly $1.1 million generated through the sale of cattle and horses has been re-invested in the beef cattle and equine science programs.”

The four-year Animal Science and two-year Agricultural Technology students in the Livestock Merchandising and Equine Behavior and Training classes in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences manage the annual sale. This event allows students to gain experience in organizing and conducting a livestock sale, and in handling, fitting, and training beef cattle and horses.

Since the first sale in 1995, more than 870 students have gained valuable merchandising experience working on all facets of the sale. Students in the Livestock Merchandising class hear from guest lecturers from the horse and cattle industries and get insight on their professional knowledge of merchandising and marketing, catalog production, presentation of sale animals, and the organization of auctions. Students must serve one of the committees that are devoted to a specific aspect of the sale such as advertising, clerking, livestock photography, animal display, food and beverage, decorations, or sale ring.

The Equine Training class provides students with lectures, demonstrations, and horse handling opportunities that address basic safety procedures, equine behavior, and a wide variety of handling techniques and philosophies. The class members train and prepare the horses that are in the auction.

For more information about the beef cattle program and sale cattle, visit http://www.apsc.vt.edu/centers/beef/beefcenter.html or contact Dan Eversole at (540) 231-4738, deversol@vt.edu.

For more information about the equine science program and sale horses, visit http://www.equine.vt.edu or contact Ann Dunnington, professor of animal science, at (540) 231-9179, dunning@vt.edu.

Ranked 11th in agricultural research expenditures by the National Science Foundation, Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences offers students the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s leading agricultural scientists. The college’s comprehensive curriculum gives students a balanced education that ranges from food and fiber production to economics to human health. The college is a national leader in incorporating technology, biotechnology, computer applications, and other recent scientific advances into its teaching program.