A near-perfect spring day sandwiched between rainstorms made for a fantastic campus celebration
Image Credit: Jonathan Stephanoff
Maryland Day took place on April 29, 2023, marked by a near-perfect spring day sandwiched between rainstorms on Friday evening and Sunday morning. This year celebrated 25 years of Maryland Days at UMD with alumni, students, and community members enjoying our campus-wide open house. Hundreds of events, booths, participatory activities, and UMD swag covered the campus including a robotic dog demonstration, a newly reopened wind tunnel, an insect petting zoo, and of course ANSC’s student livestock show competition.
Maryland Day has its roots in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ Agricultural Day, or Ag Day for short, a college tradition nearing our 100-year anniversary. This year’s ANSC highlights were the livestock show, President Pines stopping by to see the new foals that were born on campus, barn tours, and Campus Farm photo-ops.
The livestock show began with one class of swine, followed by three of sheep, and four of dairy, but each of the 31 student participants started working with their animals earlier in the semester. Each showperson clocked hours of training with their animals, learning how to properly walk, stand, and present to the show judges. Additional tasks like how to wash, groom, and care for the animals added to the bonds formed with their partner in the ring.
Cheyenne Van Echo was one such showperson who jumped at the opportunity to take part in the show, saying, “I saw this as an excellent opportunity to meet more students and faculty in ANSC while also learning something new.”
Van Echo chose to show dairy, explaining, “I have raised and shown market goats, lambs and pigs through 4-H. Growing up I was always jealous of my friends who got to show cattle…showing dairy at Maryland Day was a childhood dream come true!”
Discussing all the preparation before the show, Van Echo said, “I learned a lot about patience and persistence. Heifers are stubborn, but unlike sheep and pigs you can’t outmuscle them as easily. You need to be very aware of where your heifer is and which way she is moving because getting run over by one of them hurts a lot more than a lamb or piglet.”
All the work Van Echo and the other student participants put in resulted in a unique learning experience. Van Echo was awarded the Dairy Champion and Grand Champion, and the crowd in the stands enjoyed an excellent Ag Day Show from all the animals and classes. Full results from the show are below.
As for students who may consider participating as a showperson next year, Van Echo said, “If you want to do it, go for it! You do not need any prior showing experience to participate. It helps to have a general knowledge of the species you are working with, but you do not have to have physically worked with a certain species in order to sign up to show one. [For showing dairy] We began practicing about a month before the show, so there is plenty of time to learn from the instructor and student coaches about proper handling, prepping and showing.”
Enjoy a photo album from the day.
Champion: Sophie Michaels
Champion: Kate Fortouna
Champion: Cheyenne Van Echo