WEST POINT, Neb. – Students in one agriculture program at Northeast Community College had the opportunity to work with veterinary services professionals. Veterinary Technician students traveled to NVS Genetix to learn about embryo transfer in livestock.
NVS Genetix is a reproduction center that specialized in embryo collection and transfer in cattle, sheep, and goats. It collects grades, freezes, ships, and implants embryos.
“Experiences like this show students various aspects of veterinary medicine that are different from what we have at the college,” said Dr. Kassie Wessendorf, an instructor in the veterinary technician program.
Dr. Steve Hughes and LVT (Licensed Veterinary Technician) Vanessa Peterson from NVS Genetix showed students how to properly grade embryos, the steps for successful embryo transfer, the differences between in vivo derived embryos and in vitro embryos, and how to prepare recipient cows. Students were able to observe as Hughes implanted an embryo into a recipient cow and had the opportunity to palpate the cow’s reproductive tract before implantation. Peterson discussed how the process differs in cattle compared to sheep and goats and taught the students about surgical embryo collection and transfer in sheep and goats.
“Visiting NVS was an excellent opportunity for me as a vet tech student because I enjoyed learning about the process of artificial insemination and embryo transfer, said student Gicelle Garcia-Barraza, Hastings. “So much so, that I plan to become certified in artificial insemination to increase my knowledge as a veterinary technician.”
The student experience was part of a USDA grant the program received to encourage students to consider entering the food-animal medicine field.
Northeast Community College veterinary technology students Gicelle Garcia Barra, Hastings, (left) Julian Tuttle, Ewing, and Sophie Alfson, West Point, and Vanessa Peterson, LVT, watch as Dr. Steve Hughes palpates a heifer to implant an embryo at NVS Genetix in West Point.