As part of the Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Extension Education course, a livestock show, animal health camp and veterinary exhibition was organized by the Veterinary College, Gadag, to practically train students in the theoretical extension methods and tools taught in the course. Dr Shivakumar K Radder reflects on this experience here.
Under the Veterinary Council of India (VCI) prescribed BVSc and AH course, Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Extension Education (VAE) is taught in the 3rd year. Students are taught various extension methods, techniques and tools including conducting livestock shows, animal health camps and veterinary exhibitions. Further, students are expected to learn about preparation and use of various audio-visual aids and literature. In this context, a livestock show, an animal health camp and a veterinary exhibition were envisaged to practically train students in the theoretical extension methods and tools included in the course. The event was organized by Veterinary College, Gadag, a constituent of Karnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries Sciences University, Bidar, India, at Sambhapur village of Gadag district on 1st January, 2020. The complete programme planning and execution process is documented here to give insights to Veterinary Extension professionals engaged in discharging similar academic duties. Likewise, it gives an opportunity to seek feedback from them.
Selection of the village
One of the important criteria for village selection was distance from the college— villages at short distances were considered. The reason behind this criterion was the need for frequent visits to the village by teachers and students before, during and after the event. Further, it would not hamper other subject classes of the students. Hence, short distance enables frequent visits to the activity village. Students were asked to select the villages. In the first instance, one nearby village was selected. However, the response from villagers was poor. Hence, the search continued for another village continued. Interactions were also held with veterinary officers working in the Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services (AHVS). Finally, Sambhapur village was selected after consultations with Veterinary Officer of the area, who resolutely accepted our call for conducting the programme.
Student and Faculty Involvement
‘Programme Planning and Evaluation’ is an important chapter in VAE course. The whole event was considered as a programme and planning practical, and was done accordingly. Discussions were held among course students. Various committees were made and responsibilities were assigned. Programme committee, Finance Committee, Animal Health Camp Committee, Livestock Show Committee, Exhibitions Committee, etc. were formed. Course teachers of other courses of 3rd year were consulted and requested to participate in the event focusing on the issues pertaining to their courses. Later, the matter was discussed with the Dean of the College and his permission was sought to conduct the event. The Dean wholeheartedly supported the idea and permitted to go ahead.
Programme Planning is a collaborative process. For successful implementation of any livestock development programme, collaboration with stake holders is very important. In this context, discussions were held with officers of the Dept. of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services including the Local Veterinary Officer, Assistant Director and Deputy Director. They assured their help and support for the programme. Discussions were also held with the President and the Secretary of a local dairy cooperative society, who also showed interest in the programme.
At Veterinary College, many departments (Anatomy, Pathology, Parasitology, Public Health, Clinical Complex, Livestock Farm Complex, Livestock Products Technology, Livestock Production Management) agreed to extend their cooperation for the event in terms of – acting as experts for various activities of the event, undertaking various responsibilities, providing specimen, models, posters, charts, etc.
A portion of the grant for conducting the event was provided by the Directorate of Extension, KVAFSU, Bidar. A portion of the expenditure was met by the Dept. of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services. A local pharmacy, i.e. Shri Renuka Medical and General Stores, Halakerimath Road, Gadag, was consulted and they agreed to sponsor certain veterinary medicines and complementary nutraceuticals for the event. Some veterinary pharmaceutical companies were also contacted. Veterinary pharmaceutical companies Virbac, Intas and MSD participated in the event and provided complementary veterinary medicines and feed supplements to farmers at camp.
Publicity Committee students prepared posters and leaflets about the event, which were distributed and displayed well in advance. Publicity was given few days before in the village and surrounding villages using public address system and personal announcements. Personal contacts with key communicators were also held.
Various livestock were a part of the event. The livestock were classified into six groups – Cross bred cows (two subsections – HF cross and Jersey Cross), Indigenous cows, Buffaloes, Bullocks and Calves. Registration of farmers and animals was done. Each animal was given a tag depicting its code number. A total of 48 crossbred cows, 11 desi cows, 30 bullocks, eight buffaloes and 21 calves participated in the show. A judging panel consisting of experts from Veterinary College, Gadag, judged the animals. Three prizes (first, second and third) were given away in each category. Livestock Show Committee students assisted in conducting the show.
Animal Health Camp
Treatment facility was arranged for providing veterinary health care services to livestock as the village did not have veterinary institutions. Expert clinicians from Veterinary College, Gadag, provided treatment to the livestock. Animal Health Camp Committee students assisted in conducting the camp.
A stall was set up for exhibition at the event. Charts, posters, models, specimens, objects and literature pertaining to various aspects of veterinary science and animal husbandry were showcased. Endoparasite eggs and stained bacteria were also shown through microscope. Students and faculty explained to the visitors and answered their queries.
Farmers were delighted with the new exposure and felt enlightened. School children were also invited along with their teachers to the show and exhibition. It was a thrilling learning experience for them. These students were also briefed about importance of veterinary profession and were provided information about B.V.Sc. & A.H. course.
At the end of the event, each participating farmer was provided with a kit consisting nutritional supplements for livestock. The following extension teaching methods and audio-visual aids were used (Box 1).
- Students of VAE course of 3rd year B.V.Sc. & A.H. practically experienced
- Programme planning and evaluation
- Identification of and working through local leaders
- Organisation of animal health camp
- Organisation of livestock show
- Organisation of campaign and exhibition
- Selection and use of appropriate extension teaching methods;
- Selection and use of audio-visual aids.
More importantly, the event provided a platform for participatory rural appraisal to students to interact with rural livestock farmers and work with them towards livestock development.
- The livestock show instilled in farmers a sense of competitive spirit and motivated them to rear their animals in scientifically to enhance productivity. The show also showcased growing interest among farmers to rear indigenous breeds of cows like Deoni and Gir.
- Animal health camp helped in addressing various problems of livestock directly through required treatment. It instilled a sense of confidence among farmers in obtaining veterinary services as there was no veterinary institution in the village.
- The exhibition helped in creating awareness and imparting knowledge to farmers on various aspects and technologies in the field of veterinary science and animal husbandry. Especially, school children were enthralled by the exhibition after viewing microorganisms through microscope, which was a first time experience to many of them. Thus, the exhibition, besides creating awareness and imparting knowledge, also made the farmers and school children aware of activities and importance of veterinary education.
- The event helped in building team spirit among faculty of veterinary college, doctors of Dept. of AHVS and local farmers in working towards development of animal husbandry.
Dr. Shivakumar K. Radder is Associate Professor & Head, Dept. of Veterinary & Animal Husbandry Extension Education, Veterinary College, Gadag – 582 201 Karnataka, India. (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)