Undergraduate students presented posters during the Kansas State University Animal Sciences and Industry Undergraduate Research Symposium on Tuesday, Dec. 12. The symposium hosted at Weber Hall on the K-State campus highlighted the ASI undergraduate research for the fall 2017 semester.
This year’s symposium and the Undergraduate Research Awards distributed during the event were sponsored by the Dr. Mark and Kim Young Undergraduate Research Fund in Animal Sciences and Industry.
Five students were awarded $1,000 scholarships based on a combination of their scientific abstract, poster and presentation of data. Winning the scholarships were: Gage Nichols, Russell, Kansas; Madison Smith, Hutchison, KS; Alexis Pedro, Richmond, Kansas; and Katelyn Thomson, Riley, Kansas. Carrie Cromer, Churchville, Virginia, was awarded the People’s Choice award voted on by students, faculty, and stakeholders who attended the symposium.
Undergraduate research is an opportunity to perform in-depth study, gain transferable skills, develop critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, define academic and professional interests, and form relationships with mentors, professors, and other students. The program gives students the opportunity to work with ASI faculty and graduate student mentors on a project that is rewarding and helps them prepare for their next goals.
Undergraduate research helps students understand the value and constraints of data. Whether they go on to graduate school, return to the ranch, or venture into industry, these students will use data every day to make decisions. An undergraduate research experience helps them understand how to value that data during the decision-making process and will help make them more successful animal scientists.
Dean Klahr, ASI junior from Holton, Kansas, took part in the participant-based undergraduate research. “Participating in research has provided me with a real-life experience to decide if I want to continue with research in the future, along with seeing the benefits we can make on the industry,” Klahr explained.
Summary of the students’ projects and mentors:
  • Carrie Cromer – Effect of milking frequency or glucose metabolism of early lactation dairy cows – Barry Bradford
  • Mikayla Goering – Low-stress sampling and cortisol measurements in periparturient sows – Dr. Lindsey Hulbert
  • Christopher Hall – Determining potential for on-farm fecal collection for DNA extraction – Jaymelynn Farney
  • Jaclyn Ketchum – The effect of exogenous progesterone on the quality of in vitro produced bovine embryos –  David Grieger
  • Dean Klahr – Effects of beef cattle temperament on feed and water intake – Megan Rolf
  • William Patterson – An indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for detecting antibody response in pigs infected by emerging porcine seneca valley virus – Ying Fang
  • Corinne Knobble – Effects of feeding increasing iron from either iron sulfate or a novel source of dietary iron on growth performance and iron status of nursery pigs – Hayden Williams, Annie Clark, and the Applied Swine Nutrition Team
  • Alexis Pedrow – Detection of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) serogroups other than the top- 7 STEC, isolated from cattle feces, by multiplex PCR assays – T.G. Nagaraja
  • Bailee Porter – Multiplexed PCR assays for the detection of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli, other than the top- 7 serogroups, isolated from feedlot cattle feces – T.G. Nagaraja
  • Darby Schmidt – Food safety compliance readiness of Kansas pet food manufacturers – Dr. Cassie Jones
  • Madison Smith – Effects of protein source on fiber disappearance in an in vitro fermentation of prairie hay by mixed cecal microorganisms – Teresa Douthit and James Lattimer
  • Katelyn Thompson – Evaluation of medium chain fatty acids as a dietary additive in nursery pig diets –  Jordan Gebhardt, Annie Clark, and the Applied Swine Nutrition Team
  • Morgan Coffin – Side-bias and time-of-day influenced cognition after minipigs were conditioned using a novel tactile stimulation device – Lindsey Hulbert
The undergraduate research course focused on the effect of increasing GleptoForte dosage in newborn pigs on sow and litter performance. Students developed abstracts and posters as part of the course requirement. Researchers were: Michael Braun, Leeanna Burton, Courtney Crane, Shania Davis, Brandon Hall, Lauren Herd, Emily Kamler, Rebecca Karns, Mylah Knight, Joel Martin, Shane Newton, Shannon Ney, Gage Nichols, Meghan Regehr, Brianna Salgado, Darby Schmidt, Lyndy Tischhauser, Logan Vicin and Haley Wecker.
Shannon Ney, ASI junior from Russell, Kansas, and a student in the undergraduate research class, said, “This course allowed to exercise my communication, time management and critical thinking skills. I discovered were my passion lies within the industry.”
The food science undergraduate research class focused their research to inoculate Escherichia coli in different food items. Researchers were: Colby Castor, Lindsey Clemage, Carter Hall, Randall Martin, McKenna Mills and Shelby VenJohn.
Twelve of the undergraduate research students will be presenting their research at regional or national meetings.
Undergraduates interested in learning more about the ASI research program, or those interested in sponsoring the program, can contact Dr. Cassie Jones, Coordinator of Undergraduate Research, at 785-532-5289 or jonesc@ksu.edu.

Original release Dec. 14, KSU ASI

K-State ASI Students Participate in Undergraduate Research Symposium