Hello! My name is Emily Barkheimer, I am also a student in ESEPSY1159. I am a commuter, I operate my own farm with exotic animals, longhorns, horses, and Nigerian Dwarf goats. I work as a live flock health intern at Case Farms Chicken. My hobbies include competitively riding horses and showing cattle, fishing, archery, and guiding hunts on my families White tail deer preserve, Dominant Buck Outfitters. Some exotic animals we have are alpacas, miniature donkeys, miniature cows, miniature horses, a zebra, a camel, two lemurs, some silver foxes, pheasants, quail(which we use for training our trial competition English Setters), wallabys (tiny kangaroos), porcupines, tortoises, potbelly pigs, miniature deer, white tail deer, and a macaw. I love making new friends, and always welcome anyone to leave a little info about themselves below in the comments, or if you need any advice, I’d be happy to help!
In my opinion, the most important aspect of this module is the idea of collaboration in group projects. During a ruminant feeds and feeding class we were assigned a HUGE project at the beginning of the semester. We were given a random animal, and we had all semester to design a profitable operation involving the meat of the animal. Our projects had to be well researched including complete feeding programs, crop plans, expense reports for everything, housing, property taxes and location, supplement programs, breeding and health programs, marketing strategies, and about twenty more points of interest.
I was placed into a group with three people, my best friend, a lazy member, and an easily frazzled member. Well of course, the lazy one was assigned as our team leader, and we got the hardest animal from the list, market sheep. When’s the last time you went to the grocery store and was like “man I’d kill for some mutton right now”? Exactly. A hard topic, and an even rougher group of researchers led to a late start and a bumpy journey. The team leader never contacted any of us, about three weeks into the semester I decided to take matters into my own hands and I created a group chat(Dealing with group members, tip 1) . Shortly after everyone picked their tasks, Hayley (my friend) and I quickly realized the other members were never planning to do their parts. Every time we attempted to schedule meet ups, the other two were always busy, anytime Hayley and I went to tour a market sheep facility, the boys never had any questions or topics they wanted us to gather info on. Long story short, after bugging the boys for 8 weeks, we started doing their parts. This “sucking it up and completing their parts” (Dealing with group members video, Tip 5) idea was obviously our best option because even after planning to finish our project two weeks early, the boys either never turned anything in, or turned it in at midnight when we planned to record the presentation the next morning.
The project taught us that in order to get such a big task achieved, we’d have to separate it into smaller parts, assign periodic deadlines(Dealing with group members, tip 3), and plan to get done early in case of emergencies. We learned the importance of communicating with industry professionals to gather information, and plenty of patience for people with less motivation than yourself.