Thank you so much to everyone who helps make Targeting Excellence a possibility, including the sponsors, board, and committees. The generosity I have received is remarkable and has eased the financial burden of receiving a high-quality veterinary education. It is energizing to know that upon graduation I will be joining an industry composed of so many kind-hearted people such as yourselves!
As a veterinary student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, it is clear that I will soon become a veterinarian upon completion of my Veterinariae Medicinae Doctoris degree. That being said, there are many career paths a veterinarian can take upon completion of their education. For me, my goal is to work in the dairy industry as an ambulatory veterinarian in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania dairy industry has been struggling in many ways (to say the least) over the past several years. To some of my veterinary peers, this may seem like the perfect time to “get out while the getting is still good” and pursue other career opportunities? Something I have heard time and time again from both students and faculty members alike. In my opinion, these struggles dairy producers currently face will only become permanent if people simply give up. Strong leadership, not cowardice, is what is needed to deliver our industry to a more productive and prosperous time. And I believe I have the capacity to be a strong leader within our commonwealth’s dairy industry as a veterinarian. Robust and adroit veterinary medicine principles serve as a key pillar of success in any commercial dairy management setting. It is my goal to help work together with producers to achieve the next level of both herd and financial health to keep longstanding family farms around for the next generation of dairymen. I personally have seen the difficulties and pain associated with close friends having to sell their cows or farm. If at the end of my career, I can say I kept just one farm from selling their cows for just one more generation, I will consider it a successful profession. While veterinary medicine is only one piece of the puzzle, through my time in the Penn State Animal Science program I ardently honed my knowledge in dairy management and dairy systems analysis. The veterinary profession has undertaken the role of farm consultant in recent years, and I feel prepared to serve that part as well. Successful farm management requires a wholistic approach, and as a veterinarian it is ultimately my goal to be a true asset in every possible way for my future clients.