Thank you to everyone who works to make the Targeting Excellence scholarship program possible. Your generous support will help me to make the most of student opportunities and gain vital experience during my education, preparing me to reach my career goals. I look forward to a career with food animals and giving back in the future.
I want a career with large animals where I can work to further animal health and welfare, client wellbeing, and public health and awareness. Food animal veterinarians are asked to simultaneously consider the individual animal’s needs, the client’s viewpoint, and wider impacts of a treatment or disease on society. This puts veterinary medicine at a unique intersection of these fields, with many exciting and essential roles a DVM would equip and empower me to fulfill. Learning about livestock species, especially dairy cattle, throughout my undergraduate experience has provided me opportunities to grow in both professional and personal capacities, while confirming how my interests match my desired career. While I did not grow up with livestock or agricultural background, my courses and labs have allowed me to gain experience with the reproduction, handling, nutrition, physiology, and common health concerns of farm animals. My involvement with the Animal Welfare and Behavior Club and the AVMA Welfare Judging Team has also shaped my way of looking at how animals are cared and provided for, and taught me to consider beyond the animal’s biological functioning alone. The field of animal welfare is a central value and interest I will use in my career, and this frame of reference, along with my non-agricultural upbringing, will allow me to bring a unique mindset to the table in the food animal realm. My desire to work with large animals has been strengthened by the ability to build relationships with the producers and members of allied industry on the people side with whom I will be working with daily. These experiences include directing other students and responding on call as a student manager at OSU Waterman Dairy, contacting individuals and companies to support club events, and connecting with exhibitors while working in the Ohio State Fair milking parlor. As a result, I have developed the skills to communicate effectively, take the lead with confidence when appropriate, and understand terminology used in the industry. As well, the Dairy Challenge program has allowed me to practice assessing a farm holistically and speaking with producers to pinpoint solutions for their operation, sparking my interest in taking on a consultant role in the future. While I realize there are always difficult individuals and cases, my experiences with food animal producers overall support my desire to work with this group, and have developed my ability to stand up for myself when necessary and act ethically in tough situations. I strongly believe young food animal veterinarians are needed currently, since many in the field are getting older with fewer new vets willing to take their place – I can help fill this gap. As a veterinarian, I can address multiple areas I am passionate about: by preventing animal disease and suffering, helping producers safely treat animals and use resources wisely, and advocating to help assure the public that the animal products they consume are produced safely and ethically.