1675 Observatory Dr
286 Animal Sciences
Madison, WI 53706
Bernie O’Rourke is a Senior Outreach Specialist in Animal Sciences – Livestock Management. Bernie received her B.S. degree in Animal Sciences from South Dakota State University ’95, and her M.S degree in Animal Sciences/Meat Science from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln ‘97. Before arriving in Wisconsin in 2001, she was a 4-H/Livestock Extension Educator with the University of Minnesota Extension Service for three years. She was involved in livestock and meats judging as well as coaching youth and collegiate teams. Currently, Bernie is the Extension Youth Livestock Specialist in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in the Department of Animal & Dairy Sciences Department. Bernie provides leadership and support to the livestock project areas (beef, sheep, swine, and meat goats) by sharing current research and practices to youth and adults engaged in 4-H, FFA, and other organizations. Her youth programming is in the areas of agriculture literacy and animal management, with state coordinator responsibilities for the Youth for the Quality Care of Animals national program (YQCA). Over her career, she implemented and maintained the Livestock Quiz Bowl and Skillathon events and used her creativity to adopt programs in new ways. She also teaches the Career Orientation course for college undergraduates, animal sciences prospective student recruitment, and actively involved in local and statewide organizations. Bernie was raised on a diversified livestock and crop farm in South Central Minnesota. Her husband, Ron, and their three boys continue to be involved in each other’s family operations while maintaining their flock of commercial sheep.
Youth Outcomes of the Wisconsin Meat Animal Quality Assurance Program, Wisconsin Department of Youth Development.
O’Rourke, B.M. Carcass, Ultrasound shows, keys to youth livestock success. Wisconsin State Farmer. 2019
O’Rourke, B.M. New youth animal education program benefits food quality, consumers, Farm Bureau Rural Route Magazine. 2017
O’Rourke, B.M.; Kuber.P. Impactful federal and state reporting: Data points from a peer reviewed and industry supported national curricula”, Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA). 2020. Accepted for National Agriculture County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) and National Association of Extension 4-H Association (NAE4-HA).
O’Rourke, B.M. Wisconsin Youth Bacon Project. National Association of Extension 4-H Association (NAE4-HA). 2016.
O’Rourke, B.M., Ivey. D., Grenawalt, A., Borden, B., Hobson, P. Meat Animal Quality Assurance (MAQA) Impact Survey. 2014
Ractopamine Free Swine Project, https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/youthlivestock/ractopamine-free/2020.
Marketing Your Livestock Project: A Guide to Youth and Families, https://bit.ly/marketinglivestock 2020.
Livestock Comfort at the Fair, https://uwmadison.box.com/s/qdtdzhsnfv94gpz0e5baido8lirgjcit 2019.
Producer Guide to Veterinary Feed Directive. https://uwmadison.app.box.com/s/2t98wa7yufp0nbjzkr7uwzz0sv7jka8a 2017
An Sci 150 – Career Orientation Animal/Poultry Sciences (1 credit, Spring)
Course description: An introduction to resume preparation, student employment, internships, and graduate and professional school programs with presentations by numerous graduates who discuss their career path following a B.S. degree in Animal Science or Poultry Science.
Requirements: DY SCI/AN SCI 101
Animal & Dairy Sciences Extension Committee Animal & Dairy Sciences Recruitment Committee
National Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) Committee & Executive Board, YQCA Research and Curriculum Committee
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Extension Consultative Committee
University of Wisconsin – Madison Animal Sciences sheep sale committee
Wisconsin Pork Association Swine Health Committee
National 4-H Skillathon Committee
National 4-H Quiz Bowl Committee
Wisconsin Pork Association Youth Committee
Wisconsin Livestock Breeders Association Board of Directors, Ex-offico
Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival Youth Sweepstakes Committee WACAA 4-H 4-H & Youth Committee Chair MAQA/YQCA Wisconsin State Committee chair and creator
Communicator Award Educational Package – Team Award, National & Wisconsin Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals, “Cloverbud Curriculum”, 2019. (Involved livestock lessons for ages K-2)
NAE4-HA Meritorious Service Award, National & Wisconsin Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals, 2019.
Excellence in Agricultural Literacy Programming Award, National & Wisconsin Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals, “Meet the Meat”, 2018.
Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Cooperative, Friend of the WSBC. 2018
Dunn County 4-H/FFA Meat Animal Committee. Friend of the Project. 2017
Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators. Organizational Relations Award. 2017
Educational Technology – Team Award, State Winner, Wisconsin Youth Livestock Program Website and Social Media. 2016
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Academic Staff Excellence in Leadership Award. 2016
NAE4-HA Excellence in Animal Science Programming – Team Award – NATIONAL, State and Regional Winner, Livestock Learning Webinars, 2015.
NAE4-HA Excellence in Animal Science Programming – Team Award – State and Regional Winner, Meat Animal Quality Assurance Program Survey, 2014.
NAE4-HA Distinguished Service Award, National & Wisconsin Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals, 2012.
Excellence in Animal Science Programming Award, National & Wisconsin Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals, “Ag Truths Not Tails”, 2012.
- Second Mile Award, Wisconsin Association of County Agriculture Agents. 2007
- Achievement in Service Award, Wisconsin & National Association of 4-H Youth Development Professionals. 2007
Wisconsin Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals Award in Team Excellence, Presented at the Joint Council of Extension Professionals – “Camp of Champions”. 2003