Emily Mollohan, M.S.
Education: Bachelor of Science in agribusiness and animal sciences and industry (May 2013)
Master of Science in agricultural economics from Kansas State University
McNair Project: Exercise Physiology and Production Characteristics of Cattle (2011)
Mentor: Timothy Rozell, Ph.D.
Leaving cattle with little to no human contact in a feedlot setting has been a common practice in the livestock industry. However, required minimal handling could possibly lead to more stress when they are handled for shipping and slaughter, which can cause poor quality beef. Four groups (Sloth, Decathalete, Early, and Late) of steers were used to evaluate whether exercise provides an appropriate stimulus for changes in animals' stress response by controlling the amount of human contact for cattle over a 20 week period. This subset project compares only the Sloth and Early group of steers. It compares blood gas levels to show whether exposure to human contact on a regular basis will affect the amount of stress the cattle undergo during times of processing. This study is ongoing, and blood gas results will be collected and analyzed.