Words cannot express how grateful I am to receive support from Targeting Excellence sponsors, the Board, and Committees as I pursue my passion for food animal agriculture and research. Perhaps the greatest asset to food animal research is the ability to collaborate with industry. It is reassuring to see this industry invest in those who will be future leaders in food animal production and research: the students. Thank you!
Food animal medicine represents a critical yet often underserved sector of veterinary medicine. For me, I can’t imagine a career that didn’t involve working with food animals daily. More so, I want to be on the frontlines of food animal research, improving the lives of animals and populations who depend on them through scientific discovery. This is why I chose to pursue a combined DVM/PhD at NC State. The program will allow me to dedicate my career to the betterment of animal research, generate new knowledge, and pursue an interest in academia. My goals for 10 years post-completion are to be conducting veterinary biomedical research. I am open to doing so as a faculty member of a college of veterinary medicine, within private industry, or in collaboration with the federal or state government. My decision will be based upon the sector I perceive at the time to need quality research the most, and what seems to be the best fit for me at that point in my career.
I respect the research discipline because it leads to generation of new knowledge that can be used by all to overcome challenges we encounter in food animal agriculture. The greatest challenge facing the future of veterinary medicine is providing the necessary care to the animals that will feed the world’s growing population while simultaneously facing human health challenges tied to animal health, such as food safety and zoonotic disease. Economies, diplomatic relations between countries, public perception of agriculture, and human life all hinge on the health of our world’s food animals. I have been and continue to be trained in animal research, and I must now couple that with a DVM education before I continue to address this challenge. As a veterinarian, I will research solutions to animal health problems that affect animal and human populations the most. I will generate new and relevant information for fellow veterinarians and scientists. I will engage the public in a way that is appropriate and promotes animal agriculture. I will do everything within my power to maintain the health of national and global food animal populations, knowing that human health is maintained concurrently with food animal health. This may be through research, treatment, or a combination of the two.
Sadly, the cost of a veterinary education is rising and fewer veterinary graduates of today are showing an interest in food animal health. Those that are may not be willing to dedicate the time and effort required to address threats to food animal health. I am more than willing to devote my career to addressing this challenge, and I look forward to sharing my passion for food animal medicine with others.