Cal Poly Team Wins 2019 Regional Animal Science Academic Quadrathlon 

From left to right, Hannah Neer, Selby Boerman, Assistant Professor Zack McFarlane, Sarah Dreyer, and Kaitlyn McFarlan at the University of IdahoSAN LUIS OBISPO — A team of four Cal Poly animal science majors took first place at the 2019 Western Section American Society of Animal Science Academic Quadrathlon, held April 5-6 in Moscow, Idaho.

The team, consisting of Selby Boerman of Montague, California; Sarah Dreyer and Kaitlyn McFarlan, both of Exeter, California; and Hannah Neer of Bishop, California, competed in four events, including a written exam, oral presentation, a practicum of eight labs, and a quiz bowl. The topic of the oral presentation was: “How to increase consumer confidence/education in animal agriculture.” Assistant Professor Zach McFarlane of the Animal Science Department coached the team.

This is the first time in 20 years that Cal Poly has participated at the regional contest, competing against seven other Western U.S. universities, including Brigham Young University-Idaho, Chico State, New Mexico State, Utah State, Montana State, Oregon State, and the University of Idaho. Utah State University and New Mexico State University placed second and third, respectively.

Teams are ranked by their performance in each of the four competitions of the quadrathlon, with multidisciplinary and multispecies sections designed to test students in all facets of animal science. Cal Poly ranked first in the oral presentation and lab practicum and second in the written exam and quiz bowl. Lab practicum stations focused on application of skills related to animal physiology, genetics, lactation, nutrition, reproductive physiology and animal health.

“This experience truly embodies the Learn by Doing approach to education that Cal Poly exemplifies,” McFarlane said. “The academic quadrathlon provided students the opportunity to put their knowledge and practical experience to the test.”

The team advances to the national American Society of Animal Science competition in Austin, Texas, in July. 

About Cal Poly’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences
Cal Poly is a nationally ranked, comprehensive polytechnic university. The university’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences is comprised of expert faculty members who take pride in their ability to transform academically motivated students into innovative professionals ready to solve the complex challenges associated with feeding the world in sustainable ways. Students have access to state-of-the-art laboratories, including ranchland, orchards, vineyards and forests, all of which provide the basis for Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing methodology. It is the fifth-largest college of agriculture in the country, with 4,000 undergraduate students. Learn more at

Photo information: From left to right, Hannah Neer, Selby Boerman, Assistant Professor Zack McFarlane, Sarah Dreyer, and Kaitlyn McFarlan at the University of Idaho.

Contact:  AnnMarie Cornejo

April 17, 2019

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