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Club Abstract

The quick and dirty of what we do.

Penn State University Block and Bridle Club
324 Henning Building
University Park, PA 16802

Block and Bridle, known as the premier livestock and horse club on campus at Penn State, is one of the most active clubs on campus, not just on Ag Hill but also at the university level. Block and Bridle currently has 75 active members, these members have livestock and horses as a common interest and participate in a variety of activities which range from social and educational events to community service. Transfer and freshmen students are greeted in the fall at the club’s Welcome Back picnic where old members reunite and new members begin to form lasting friendships. General club meetings are held every first and third Thursday of the month, with the board of directors meetings being held on alternative weeks. New students have ample opportunities to become involved with the club and are encouraged to participate as they are required to assist with at least four events to become an initiated member. 

The diverse background of club members allows the interests in all species of livestock to be well represented at club events.  Block and Bridle’s equine enthusiasts participate in several horse related events throughout the year. Students become involved with horses on campus by participating in weanling and mare handling/grooming and also by assisting with the Penn State Quarter Horse spring sale. Students with a meat interest help with ham processing for the fall and spring meat sales. Those with cattle experience assist with the State Bull Test Sale where approximately 100 bulls are clipped every spring. Sheep fans help with the Keystone International Livestock exposition. Also, members with a judging passion have the opportunity to run several livestock and horse judging contests. Members volunteer at the Keystone International Livestock Exposition and The Penn State Spring Judging Workout. Members with a goat interest help with the club’s newest annual event, an American Boer Goat Association sanctioned show each fall. While most club members have a specific species of interest, all members are encouraged and welcome to participate in every event. 

We Are…Penn State! Club members have a lot of school spirit and regularly attend Penn State footballs games together and cheer in the infamous student section. Students share their Penn State pride by helping to host the annual Prospective Student Open House. High school Students have the opportunity to visit campus for two days and experience life as a College of Agricultural Sciences student first hand.  In addition to showing school spirit, club members also enjoy educating campus about the College of Agricultural Sciences. Block and Bridle participated in Ag Day, an annual event held by the college to teach the general student body about agriculture on April 12, 2017. Free ice cream passes encouraged students and passerby’s to come learn more about the College of Agricultural Sciences. Block and Bridle members staffed our display with baby piglets and sheep, and answered questions about the club, college, and agriculture in general. 

Blood for Bats is now in its thirteenth year as a club activity. Blood is harvested from cattle at the PSU Meats Lab and delivered to the Philadelphia Zoo as the primary food source for their vampire bat colonies. The zoo appreciates the club’s efforts as we have consistently delivered blood with low microbial counts.

Each year, Block and Bridle hits the road to proudly represent Penn State at the National Block and Bridle Convention. Members benefit from networking with other Block and Bridle members from across the country. This year 6 members of the club traveled to Arlington, Virginia for convention.  At the closing banquet the club received awards for 2nd place webpage, 3rd place scrapbook and 1st place chapter activities in the competition. Our President, Amy Middleton, was also recognized at the 1st place Outstanding Junior. In February, Fifteen Block and Bridle students joined forces with Dairy Science Club members at the University of Rhode Island for the North East Student Affiliate (NESA). Contestants judged livestock classes consisting of horses, dairy cows, beef heifers, market hogs, breeding ewes, and oysters. Members also participated in quiz bowl competitions and oral presentations. Penn State was well represented with an overall count of 7 teams; we made our school proud as well as our devoted advisors by being named the 1st place Overall University at the competition. Penn State had the 1st place team overall, 1st and 2nd place teams in quiz bowl, 1st and 3rd place speeches, and 2nd place team in judging.

Block and Bridle is proud of their contributions to the Penn State community. In the fall, Block and Bridle members participated in the Crop Walk along with the Pennsylvania Beef Council in State College, PA. Club members helped with registration for the event. In conjunction with the club’s annual meat sale, the club donated holiday hams to the Froggy 101’s (Forever Broadcasting) Christmas Carol initiative that provides gifts to those less fortunate for the holiday season. Other community service events included Meet a Farm Animal Day where over 400 elementary school students learned about farm animals and products. We wrapped up the academic year by hosting and contributing to our Beef Up the Blood Supply spring blood drive. It is the largest Penn State blood drive held on campus and provides donors with a nutritious hamburger following their donation. We have had a pretty good turn out in the past few years. 

Along with the many service activities, club members, initiates, and advisors enjoy each other’s company throughout the semester at many social events. Members could be found playing lazer tag at What-A-Blast Lazer Tag downtown in the fall. In the winter, Tussey Mountain provided for an adventurous evening of snow tubing. Many club members showcased their athletic talent by participating in intramural (IM) football, and dodge-ball at Penn State. Those more interested in “unorganized fun” enjoyed a late night broomball game at the ice rink toward the end of the spring semester before heading home for the summer.

At the end of fall semester, Block and Bridle joins up with the Penn State Dairy Science club to bust a move at the annual winter semi-formal. Many members also attend the college wide Ag Ball held towards the end of spring semester. 

Little International, or Little I, is one of the most anticipated events of the year and Block and Bridle would not be complete without this long-standing tradition. This year, the Little International celebrated its centennial year as a long standing tradition with Block and Bridle at the Pennsylvania State University. Sixty-seven students participated this year, while more than one hundred alumni came back for the show. The morning started with the opening ceremony followed by the introduction of the judges who were each show managers or assistant show managers of previous shows. The event concluded with a round robin, where the overall showmen for each species competed against each other for Overall Champion Showman. The Stockmen’s club, the Block and Bridle alumni group, partnered with Block & Bridle to make this year’s event a success, providing both breakfast and lunch. Additionally, alumni were given the opportunity to participate in a livestock judging contest. Participants perfected their fitting and showmanship skills and were able to display their hard work to a full Snider Agricultural Arena. 

Club members are excited to debut a new prestigious club sponsored by Block and Bridle: The Penn State Saddle & Sirloin Club. This club was created to raise additional funds every year for the club’s endowment account, which will benefit the club in years to come. In order to gain membership to the club a beautiful saddle, donated by Roger Allgeier of Brighton Feeds & Saddlery in Brighton, Colorado, must be “bought.” The saddle remains in the room of traditions at Penn State and plaques are placed on a latigo strap recognizing the newest owner and member of the club. This spring was our inaugural sale and the saddle sold for $5000. A very generous alumnus, Bill MacCauley, matched the sale price to bring the final total to $10,000 for the endowment account! The latigo strap will gain a plaque honoring Dr. Harold Harpster, a very influential faculty member at Penn State, and Vivian Baumer, a previous adviser to the club who passed away this spring.

 

As you can tell, Block and Bridle members stay busy year round with club activities. Club advisors Dr. Daniel Kniffen, Dr. Ed Mills, Mr. Chris Grant, and Mr. Ben Williamson are proud of our hard work and accomplishments and continue to offer their time and support. We maintain a tradition as one of the dominant clubs on Ag Hill and strive to continue that tradition of excellence as members before, during, and after each club event.