Grayson Walker

Grayson Walker

2018 Graduate Award (North Carolina)
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I can’t explain how reassuring it is as a student passionate about food animal medicine to be supported as I continue my education. Thank you so much for recognizing the need food animal research and medicine development and taking action to support a student such as me. I assure you I will pay this investment in my education forward and work hard to secure the future of food animal agriculture. To all Targeting Excellence sponsors, the board of directors, and the North Carolina state committee, I sincerely thank you for all that you do to sustain this scholarship program.

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The greatest challenge facing the future of food animal production 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. Moving forward in my veterinary education, I intend to further investigate rising threats to food animal production and the health of humans who depend on it. I am most interested in mechanisms of bacterial antimicrobial resistance, animal welfare, and a One Health approach to food animal production.To fully engage in such interests requires training in animal health. To me, there was no better way to gain such training than to become a doctor of veterinary medicine. As a child, I always knew I would be a scientist. But, I didn’t have a firm grasp on what I would focus my research on. When I coupled my devotion to science with a long-held passion for veterinary medicine, it didn’t take long to discover what my purpose would be. I fully intend on obtaining a PhD after vet school so that I can conduct research that generates new knowledge for the benefit of food animal and human populations throughout the world. My current interests are to pursue a career in academia so that I can collaborate with government agencies and my colleagues through research, while also mentoring students who share my passion for science and engaging the public to promote a better understanding of food animal production.