Veterinarian Nathan Geater directs ag student Shelby McDonald as she examines a calf embryo in the Ag Learning Lab (commonly called The Barn) at VSHS.

The Ag Learning Lab at Vinton-Shellsburg High School brought agriculture students and FFA members another unique hands-on learning experience on Monday, when student Jakob Long brought in 6 heifers for a pregnancy wellness check.

“The Advanced Animal Science class was able to work with Dr Nathan Geater from the Winthrop Vet Clinic to palpate to feel for the fetus/embryo depending on how far along they might be and also look at the ultrasound screen to see it there also,” says teacher Melissa Heeren.

Each student had the opportunity to examine the fetus growing inside a heifer who is pregnant for the first time, using arm-length gloves for sanitation while following Geater’s instructions about where to feel for the embryo.

Geater, a 2008 graduate of Vinton-Shellsburg who earned his degree in veterinary medicine at Iowa State, was astonished at the learning lab that became part of the FFA/Ag program a few years after his graduation, and the unique opportunities it presents students.

“This whole setup blows my mind. Enjoy it while you have it,” he told the students.

 A video of the class session is now available on the VS Cube page  HERE.