Cal Poly Animal Science Students Advance to National Competition with First Place – Cal Poly News

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly animal science students used their knowledge of drought, livestock and range management to win a recent regional competition, advancing them to national championships in June. The team’s animal science majors took first place in the 2022 West Section of the American Society of Animal Science Academic Quadrathlon, held April 1-2 at Cal Poly.

The team included Sophia Juarez of San Pedro, California; Rachael Stucke, of San Mateo, Calif.; Ashley Tartaglia, of Delano, Calif.; and Genna Vieira, of Fremont, Calif. They participated in four tests: a written exam, an oral presentation, an internship of eight laboratories and a quiz.

The topic of the oral presentation was “Using Management and Technology to Cope with Severe Drought Conditions in the Western United States”. Students were asked to identify key strategies and tools available to ranchers and land managers to help mitigate the impact of severe drought and maintain water in western landscapes – a relevant topic throughout California and beyond. The Cal Poly team focused on how animal genetics, range management, water storage and feed selection are all tools producers can implement in times of drought.

“The academic quadrathlon is a real test of a student’s ability to apply the knowledge they learn in the classroom,” said Zach McFarlane, assistant professor in the department of animal science, who mentored the team. “Our incredible students in the Department of Animal Science truly embody Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing motto. The 2022 team will proudly represent the Western Section of the American Society of Animal Science.

Cal Poly hosted the regional completion and hosted teams from five other universities in the western United States, including Chico State, Fresno State, Colorado State University, New Mexico State University and Oregon State University.

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

This is the third consecutive time that Cal Poly has won the regional competition, with additional first places in 2019 and 2020. The 2021 competition was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, the Cal Poly team won the national competition.

“Competing in the academic quadrathlon competition was a very rewarding experience as I got to see how much my animal science training has grown over the past four years,” said Rachel Stucke. “Winning the West Section was the perfect capstone of my experience at Cal Poly. Our team’s victory is largely attributed to the strength and diversity of our department’s practical program, as each member of the team possesses species-specific strengths, in addition to a solid understanding of the fundamental concepts of animal science.

The victory advances the Cal Poly team to the American Society of Animal Science national competition in Oklahoma City in June.

About Cal Poly College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences
Cal Poly is a nationally ranked comprehensive polytechnic university. The College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences is made up of expert faculty members who pride themselves on their ability to transform academically motivated students into innovative professionals ready to solve the complex challenges associated with to sustainably feed the world. Students have access to state-of-the-art labs — including organic and conventional farmland, orchards, vineyards, forests, and rangelands — all of which form the foundation of Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing methodology. It is the fifth largest agricultural college in the nation with over 4,100 undergraduate students. For more information, visit

Photo information:
WSASAQ22-Team.jpg – Cal Poly Animal Science Academic Quadrathlon team members (left to right), Ashley Tartaglia, Genna Vieira, Assistant Professor Zach McFarlane (team mentor), Rachael Stucke and Sophia Juarez after their victory in the western section of the American Academic Quadrathlon Competition of the Society of Animal Science organized by Cal Poly.

April 25, 2022
Contact: AnnMarie Cornejo
805-756-2427; [email protected]

Comments are closed.