Thank you for the Targeting Excellence scholarship. I really appreciate that all of the sponsors are giving back to agricultural students like myself. It is good to know that the agricultural companies are investing back into students to help develop a better tomorrow.
Over the years of being a part of 4-H, FFA and being raised on a farm, I knew that I wanted to pursue a degree in agriculture, with a focus in animal sciences. I discovered that I thoroughly enjoy working with livestock and have a strong desire to make animals better. Working with livestock is a passion of mine to be able to help improve the health and well-being of animals. It has been my life goal to learn and absorb as much information as possible about livestock. Now I can see that it’s all been leading me to this point. I’ve dedicated my life to this, and now I can see that becoming a veterinarian is the right choice. I find it challenging to investigate problems that come about with raising livestock, whether it is a cough running through the barn or an injury due to unforeseen circumstances.
Many people, who have grown up or worked on a farm, can attest that when a problem arises you cannot continuously stick to the book on how to fix or improve the situation. Sometimes you have to rely on past experiences and instinct. I always analyze the problem and try to implement my knowledge by using both my problem-solving and critical thinking skills to think outside the box. I thrive in situations that challenge me to resolve the problem quickly. This became evident over the 13 years I raised show pigs. Being able to distinguish between different signs and symptoms of potential ailments was critical to my years of success in the show industry. I was also able to help my peers in the industry solve their problems and have healthy animals. Additionally, the opportunity to visit commercial and show pig operations on my job shadow with Dr. Todd Price inspired and helped fuel my passion to pursue a career in animal medicine. My career aspirations are to become a veterinarian who specializes in swine.
Being around swine my entire life has taught me the value of hard work and has been a major contributing factor of why I want to specialize in swine. I am always looking to challenge myself and increase my knowledge of animals. This is one reason why I worked at ST Genetics over the past semester. I have had experience with beef cattle and swine most of my life, but did not have much experience with dairy cattle, besides briefly shadowing local veterinarians. I know that if I become a vet and move back around my hometown of Botkins, Ohio, I will need to gain more experience with dairy cattle due to the large amount of dairy farms in the area.
I also know that to become a successful veterinarian you not only have to care for the animals but will need to help educate and discuss difficult situations with people as well. Throughout my summers during high school and my first year at college, I had the opportunity to work at a feed store and communicate with numerous people on a day-to-day basis. Over those few years, I was able to build trust with my customers and many specifically asked my advice about different feeding regiments specific to their animals’ welfare. While on job shadows with various veterinarians, I was inspired to see how they interacted with their clients. The clients all had different animal and herd situations, yet the veterinarians used their problem-solving skills to diagnose and effectively communicate with each client