I cannot express enough gratitude towards the team that makes this program happen every year. On top of that, the sponsors. As a veterinary student wanting to pursue food animal medicine, I often find it hard to find financial support for my education the way my small animal focused classmates do. This organization continues to support those of us that want to work with livestock. These awards not only support us financially, but in our determination to protect our food supply. Thank you once again to anyone who plays a role in making the Targeting Excellence Scholarship program so successful.
For the longest time my goal has always been to simply get to vet school. Now that I am here finishing up third year the reality is starting to sink in that one day I will actually be a veterinarian and not a student. When that time does come, I need to be ready to be the best doctor I can be. Which begs the question, what does that mean for me? While I am not one hundred percent sure exactly what job I am looking for when I graduate, I do know one thing. No matter what path I go down it will involve food animal medicine.
Ever since high school I knew I loved veterinary medicine. I started in a small animal practice and liked it. But I lived on a farm and enjoyed livestock so I thought maybe I should ride along with some large animal veterinarians. When I did, I knew I had found my passion. Not only did I get to use the ideals of medicine I enjoyed, or even working with the animals. I loved assisting farmers/producers as well as the 4-H kids. The days would fly by because I got to do something I love. Now that I am in school that excitement has not faded. I want to have a career that improves animal health and well-being while also supporting a safe and nutritious food source for people.
Veterinarians play an essential role in keeping our animals healthy and biologically efficient that leads to a product desirable and safe for human consumption. The opportunities in large animal medicine are endless. Of course, there is general practice but also public health, government regulation, processing plant supervision, and much more. Right now, I am drawn to general practice. I look forward to getting out to farms and working with producers straight on. After getting a few years of that experience I may change my path to something more specific. For the time being my goals are simple. I will learn as much as I can, even if that means I have to fail a few times first. More specifically, I have been spending my breaks performing different externships associated with food animals. Upon graduation, I will accept a position as an associate in a mixed or food animal exclusive practice. While I have a lot to learn, I am confident that I can make a positive impact on the food animal industry.