Student Spotlight: Kathryn Ruh
Name: Kathryn Ruh
Hometown: Two Rivers, WI
Degree Pursuing: Animal Science, M.S.
Advisor: Dr. Bradley Heins
Research Focus: Comparing two different grazing systems incorporating cool and warm season grasses for organic dairy cattle.
Why did you choose your current field of study?
Although I don’t come from an agriculture background, I have always been interested in animals, especially dairy cattle, and knew I wanted to get involved in agriculture. As an undergrad at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I worked in the dairy nutrition lab with Dr. Dave Combs, and became more specifically interested in dairy nutrition and forage quality. I like the grazing research that I’ve been involved with at the University of Minnesota because it combines aspects of forage and cattle management.
Why did you choose the University of Minnesota?
I was really interested in the research that Brad was doing with grazing cattle and group housed calves. My undergraduate advisor recommended the University of Minnesota and thought it might be a good choice for me.
In what ways has your involvement at the West Central Research and Outreach Center enhanced your educational experience?
The focus on organic and sustainable agriculture has enhanced my breadth of knowledge about agriculture. My educational experience was also enhanced by having the opportunity to work on projects with other graduate students at the WCROC.
What has been a highlight during your time at the WCROC?
I had a lot of fun with the other interns and graduate students that I lived and worked with over the summer. One fun memory that comes to mind was when cows chased us back and forth through the pastures while we were measuring forage with a pull-behind pasture meter on the gator.
What are your future plans?
My Master’s defense is December 14, 2016. Starting in January, 2017, I will be a Research Associate with Zinpro in Eden Prairie, MN, where I will be assisting with product development research studies as part of the Research and Nutritional Services team.