Thank you very much for supporting us, graduate students working with farm animals!! I feel privileged to get selected as a recipient of this excellent award for the second time and I can belong to this wonderful community that works on improving the lives of farm animals. With the help of your generous support, I will be able to finish the writing of my Ph.D. dissertation that aims to improve the welfare of millions of turkeys in Minnesota and all over the world. Thank you!
I love to work with food animals, especially with poultry, as I grew up on a goose farm. This passion has been influencing my choices throughout my life. Currently, I am a Ph.D. candidate being mentored by Professor Sally Noll in a world-class Ph.D. training program. My work focuses on footpad dermatitis in turkeys, an important animal welfare indicator. My goal in the future is to be an independent animal welfare scientist. I aim to apply research to improve animal health and welfare and increase productivity in the industry, while minimizing public health risks. Animal welfare is a growing concern for consumers and for the industry globally, requiring interdisciplinary collaboration for researchers and farmers. Through my career, I would like to ensure that animals live under improved welfare conditions, which can benefit the animals, farmers and consumers, as well as the economy in Minnesota. My 5 years experience as a poultry farm assistant manager gave me a good background to better understand the challenges on farms, in the food industry, and the farmers. My MS degree investigated the management effects on FPD, such as bedding sources and turkey density, and served as a solid basis for my Ph.D. program from both the biology and statistical standpoint, and taught me the importance of FPD and animal welfare. This generous scholarship would dramatically impact my professional and personal life. The financial support of this award would help me to focus my entire attention on finishing my Ph.D. program, share our findings 1.) with a scientific audience (papers, conferences, e.g., Poultry Science Association Annual Meeting, 2021); and 2.) with the turkey farmers and the industry through the University of Minnesota’s Extension Service, in order to improve animal welfare and the efficacy and productivity of turkey meat production.