Thanks you so much to the sponsors, board members, and everyone on the committees for this scholarship! I really appreciate it!
“Do it, do it, we need more people like you!” said an Iowan cattle farmer when I mentioned I was applying to veterinary school. From Iowa to Indiana, I have been encouraged and urged by many to continue to pursue a career in large animal veterinary medicine. I was shocked to learn that around 500 U.S. counties are suffering from a shortage of large animal veterinarians. I wanted to be a large animal veterinarian for two reasons: Firstly, I have a strong passion and interest in large animals, and secondly, I desire to go where I am needed.
Growing up I worked at the family hog farm that raised swine for biomedical research. Part of my family is also involved in the dairy industry. These experiences and upbringing instilled an appreciation and respect for farmers. Through this upbringing, or perhaps through natural propensity, I developed a passion for biology and livestock. Through my shadowing experiences, I realized that being a veterinarian would be the perfect cross between biology and animals. It would also serve as an opportunity to meet the high demand seen in the industry.
My two main career goals are to become a veterinarian that can serve my future community and assist in future education.
I often scroll through the veterinary services shortage situation maps provided by the USDA. On this page, a series of reports are filled out, often by the state veterinarians, outlining shortage regions for locations all across the country. The priority of filling many of these positions is classified as critical. Upon graduation, I desire to be part of this USDA program. In my undergrad years at Dordt University in Northwest Iowa, I saw firsthand how thinly stretched many of these communities were. The farmers I interacted with strongly urged me to continue down my path because they understood how important a veterinarian can be to a community. Through these experiences, I developed a strong desire to meet the demands of a shortage community and the USDA program gives the financial incentives to make this goal a reasonable option.
I enjoy education and people often commented that I would make a great high school teacher. Although I have diverted from that career option my role as an educator will still be a vital one. I desire to share everything that I have learned and encourage others to pursue careers in science and veterinary medicine. There are figures in my past that have educated and given me encouragement along the way. I aspire to pass down that education and encouragement in any way I can.