Thank you for the continued support of everyone involved with Targeting Excellence. Food animal agriculture has been a driving support in my life. The commitment of people in this industry is unmatched and something I am forever grateful for.
My interest in animal agriculture wasn’t so much developed as ingrained at birth. I grew up on a 500 cow dairy, 200 cow-calf pair, and feedlot operation. We cropped over 2000 acres of corn and alfalfa. With a food animal veterinarian for a mom, I truly had the opportunity to experience the full gamut of Wisconsin animal agriculture. I originally entered University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine with the intention of returning to my hometown and practicing ambulatory food animal veterinary medicine. My passion for veterinary medicine and animal agriculture production has not wavered since entering UW – Madison as a Dairy Science Major in 2014. I was excited by all facets of production and its intersection with veterinary medicine. I brought these same ideas to vet school with me, where I was active as a bovine club officer and shared my passion for production medicine by joining our education with outside industries that support us. As a fourth-year vet student, I found the connection between veterinary medicine, research, and food animal production that I have been seeking throughout my life. I have always been drawn to herd-level problems and production medicine questions. I have a particular interest in the intersection between animal health, improving production systems, and raising producer profitability. Following my graduation as a DVM in the spring I will begin my Masters’ program in the College of Biomedical Science. The focus of my master’s research is using data analysis and machine learning to characterize different responses to negative energy balance during the transition period in dairy cattle. Using this model and machine learning I hope to develop a system that will help dairy producers identify at-risk animals prior to them becoming sick. I hope that we can leverage this success to expand this system to other animal diseases and production outcomes. The advent of the digital age and high amount of information we collect from agriculture demands strong data science skills and advanced computing techniques to advance these systems. Simply understanding computers is not enough to make the most of this information. I believe that as a veterinarian I can bring the unique piece of animal health to the equation. Following the completion of my master’s and Ph.D. I hope to gain a position that allows me to use these skills to support animal agriculture through the continued development of these technologies, such as animal identification, monitoring, and data analysis. To me, this helps push the future of animal agriculture forward, by improving production and efficiency. Technology, in particular, will allow us to show consumers how we care for individual animals in a group setting and give us a unique way to share with consumers our mission. My path through the animal agriculture field has taken numerous turns since beginning undergrad in 2014, but the goal of caring for animals in a production medicine setting has never changed. I intend to push the boundaries of the technology we are using in production agriculture.