Group Study Projects, or GSPs, are small, specialized groups taught by expert faculty from various Tennessee agricultural schools. These hands-on projects allow scholars to experience firsthand the science and technology associated with agriculture and natural resources management. Students participating in TGSAS choose a topic similar to the list below.
The Veterinary Science GSP will present the students with the opportunity to observe and learn about the diversity of career opportunities in veterinary medicine, animal care of both farm and companion animals and perform a basic research project on companion animals from local humane shelters. The companion animal research project will involve obtaining diagnostic samples, performing treatments, analyzing diagnostic samples and comparing the results. The companion animals will then be returned to the humane shelters in better health and ready for adoption. The students will familiarize themselves with pre-diagnostic, diagnostic and therapeutic options available in veterinary medicine. The project will also include visits to humane shelters, veterinary clinics, swine farms, a dairy, an equine therapeutic riding center and the University teaching farm which is the home of cattle, sheep and horses. The objective of the veterinary science project is to allow students the opportunity to observe hands on care and treatment for a variety of species while also learning the health needs of the individual animals themselves. The students will also have the opportunity to observe necropsies in the West Tennessee Diagnostic Lab as cases are available. Topics on different careers in veterinary medicine and different usages of our animal friends will also be discussed. At the conclusion of the group study project, each student will leave with a greater understanding of and respect for the veterinary profession and the responsibility involved in caring for companion and farm animals. Veterinary Science GSP students enjoyed an overnight trip to Knoxville to tour the UT School of Veterinary Medicine and several other animal science related facilities.
Precision Agriculture combines the GSP categories of Agricultural Engineering and Crop Production. Since they are both a part of the precision engineering curriculum. The class will experience the many areas in which diverse agricultural activities interact and complement each other. The course addresses preparing soil, weed identification, and harvesting in conjunction with the use, function and maintenance of farm equipment designed for fertilizing, eradicating weeds and reaping the mature crops. The use of Global Positioning Systems on tractors is explained and the students have the opportunity for experiencing hands on use of a GPS on campus. The Precision Agriculture GSP group traveled to St. Louis, MO where they toured the Monsanto Research facility. The next day they went to Moline, IL and visited the John Deere Harvester plant.