Black Hawk College East Campus celebrated Sept. 25

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

The Black Hawk College Celebration Week, showcasing how BHC has enriched our communities for two thirds of a century, kicked off Tuesday, Sept. 25 with Celebrate at East Campus.

Assistant Professor, Dr. Jeffry Hawes, of the horticulture department, took the visiting group down to the organics plot and talked about the locally grown foods program that was established at the East Campus in 2009. He explained the importance of whole foods and their impact on today's growing awareness of nutrition; as well as how he integrates this base knowledge into his classroom and laboratory instruction.

Following Dr. Hawes, was Professor Andrew Larson, head of the agronomy area who quoted Andrew Sloan Draper, President, University of Illinois 1894-1904 saying, "The wealth of Illinois is in her soil and her strength lies in its intelligent development." Speaking from a soil pit opened to demonstrate how the students judged at contests, Larson stressed everything the soil provides: fuel, food & fiber. He rounded out his presentation by saying that soil judging gives students the opportunity to learn about soils from across the United States which is very applicable to agronomy related careers.

The group then proceeded to the ag arena where Professor Dan Hoge and Instructor Jared Boyert introduced the crowd to the finer points of livestock judging; explaining the individual selection criteria per each species judged, and how you go about evaluating those. Students assisted Hoge and Boyert in the demonstration presenting a heifer, market hog, breeding ewe, market lamb and pair of boer goats. Students also gave three sets of oral reasons to the crowd, with Hoge explaining that each contest attended consists of 12 classes of animals to be judged as well as eight sets of oral reasons. Members of the sophomore and freshman class introduced themselves.

Next on the tour was an art show that featured a student collection of Raku pottery and glasswork jewelry pieces as well as framed photos and watercolors.

Back in the arena, the crowd was introduced to the finer points of horse judging by Professor Aaron Callahan and Instructor Drew Cotton. Students demonstrated a western riding performance class, while the audience guest judged. Cotton & Callahan explained how the Show Team functions from the extremely expensive, flashy clothes to the drawing of numbers at a contest site where members learn what horse they will ride in competition. Once again students presented oral reasons, demonstrating how much time and practice is involved in the process. Members of the Horse Judging and Show teams introduced themselves.

The day wrapped up with a barrel racing exhibition by Professor Donna Irvin and students. Irvin explained that unlike livestock and horse judging where outcome is determined by a judge, in barrel racing, the outcome is determined by a clock and one-hundredths of a second. Barrel racing, Donna said, is done in a clover-leaf pattern and since most horses are "left-handed", more comfortable leading with their left front leg, 90% of riders perform the clover leaf with a right and then two left turns before racing across the clock's eye for home.

Celebration Week events continued throughout the week at the Quad-Cities Campus, culminating with the Installation Ceremony for Dr. Thomas Baynum, the 14th president for Black Hawk College at the i wireless Center in Moline on Saturday morning.