Thank you to all the sponsors, the board of directors, and the Pennsylvania state committee for awarding me the Targeting Excellence Scholarship. I am grateful to all of you and am committed to helping out, in any way I can in the future. I am looking forward, excitedly, to a future in the commercial food industry, specifically as a industry veterinarian or professional. It is a passion of mine, for sure!
In the future, I hope to attend veterinary school and go on to be a swine industry veterinarian. I grew up my whole life showing and working with many of the species of food animals, but mostly hogs. My father and brother are veterinarians and I have always been fascinated by what they do. Over the years, I have enjoyed going on farm calls with them, assisting in the clinic, and observing surgeries. I value private practice veterinary medicine, but I am more interested in working as a veterinarian in commercial food animal production. In addition to having veterinarians in the family, I have a brother who holds a master’s degree in applied swine genetics and works as a technical specialist for the largest swine genetics company in the world.
Once I began my undergraduate degree at Penn State, I began looking for opportunities to get my hands dirty. In the past few months, I have completed a winter externship with Country View Family Farms in Pennsylvania, arranged by the university, and a spring externship with Tosh Farms in Tennessee, which my brother helped me set up. Both companies are pork production companies that focus on efficiency and the wholesome production of pork. During these experiences, I gained exposure into all aspects of food animal production and these experiences have only strengthened my desire to get involved in the animal agriculture industry as a veterinarian. At Penn State, I am currently working hard to excel academically, while always looking for any opportunity to increase my knowledge base through networking and internship possibilities. I believe I can have a positive impact on the industry as I continue to gain knowledge and learn from important figures within the industry itself.
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Targeting Excellence PO Box 759 RoseHill, NC 28458
For questions please call: Rachel Virden 678-448-2368