I would like to sincerely thank the sponsors of Targeting Excellence for their generosity and commitment to supporting future leaders in agriculture. I would also like to thank the members of both the Board and Committee members for dedicating their time to this organization. This scholarship will help me pursue externship opportunities across the country to develop skills to better serve my future clients as a food animal veterinarian in Wisconsin.
Following graduation, I plan to work in a progressive food animal practice in Wisconsin. Given my background in and passion for dairy cattle, I hope to work primarily with dairy cattle, but hope to explore interests in advanced reproduction as well as beef cow-calf and small ruminant medicine. Specifically, I am interested in animal welfare, improving dairy farm profitability and efficiency, and how veterinarians can improve the communication gap between producers and consumers.
My goal is to be a valuable new asset to the clinic and help diversify services offered to their clients, such as training for Spanish-speaking employees. I enjoyed taking Spanish classes throughout high school and college, but never felt fully comfortable speaking the language until speaking it every day with other employees during my summer internship on a 3,300-cow dairy in California. I would love the opportunity to utilize my Spanish skills to make meaningful connections with employees, help ease the communication barrier between farm owners and employees, and train Spanish-speaking employees how to perform certain tasks.
I hope to pursue an interest in advanced reproductive technologies such as embryo transfer and in vitro-fertilization. These technologies allow farmers to hasten the genetic advancement of their herd by decreasing generation interval and producing more offspring from their most genetically superior animals. This in turn allows them to breed a more productive, profitable, and sustainable cow.
It is no secret that dairy farmers are currently struggling. After 4 years of low prices and younger generations either not being interested or having the financial capacity to take over the farm, dairy farms in “America’s Dairyland” are having no choice but to sell the farm that they have poured their heart and soul into for years. In 2018 alone, Wisconsin saw 638 farms leave the business. This is the biggest drop in dairy farms since recording was started in 2004. I hope to use my knowledge of dairy herd management practices to help farmers in my community remain profitable and competitive, even in the face of low prices. My background as a Dairy Science major at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as participation in numerous Dairy Challenge competitions has given me the tools to help producers find efficiencies and economical-driven management changes.
One of my major career goals is to mentor young aspiring veterinarians. I was very fortunate to be surrounded by many intelligent, supportive veterinarians that encouraged me to pursue this career. As a young girl, people would question my career choice and often tell me that I was too short to palpate cows or assist with difficult calvings. I hope to set an example for students of all ages, sizes, and backgrounds that no matter what people think the “ideal” veterinarian looks like, with a positive attitude and hard work, you can fulfill your passion and accomplish whatever you set your mind to.