It’s not every day that there’s a birth on the WWCC campus.
This week WWCC had a historic moment as the first calf ever to be born on campus joined the Warrior family in sub-freezing temperatures. The birth has been years in the making and marks an important milestone in the future creation of WWCC Ranch a complement effort to WWCC Warriors Acres, an on-campus student grown produce initiative.
WWCC has long been recognized as the flagship agriculture program within the Washington State Community College System, as well as receiving national recognition for quality and affordability. Students in the Animal Science Program within the Agriculture Department at the college have always gotten an opportunity to participate in hands-on learning experiences, but during the last few years, Tyler Cox, the animal science instructor and Jerry Anhorn, Dean of Workforce, as well as other faculty, staff, and administrators worked to acquire pastureland adjacent to the college to bring cows on campus for year-round student learning opportunities.
Calf #1, Pippin, came to be as the result of innovative techniques and a commitment to excellence in animal welfare that the WWCC Animal Science Program is known for. WWCC Animal Science students, Cox, and local embryologist/veterinarian Dr. Wisse, performed artificial insemination on a cow, and then transferred the calf embryo from the original mother to the recipient (surrogate) cow that carried it to birth. Gestation in cows is approximately 280 days, so this transfer took place as part of class on May 5, 2022.
Despite the cold weather, the calf is doing well and is on track for a healthy future thanks to regular checks by Cox and the students and having the most important ingredient of all–a good momma that is attentive.
Keep an eye out for more updates on this exciting new arrival and 20 more calves expected in about 2 weeks!
WWCC offers degrees in Animal Science including pre-vet, Plant & Soil Science, and Agriculture Business. Transfer, non-transfer and Bachelor of Applied Science degree options are available. New classes start March 29.