I am beyond grateful for this Targeting Excellence Scholarship. Thank you to the board for selecting me and giving me financial freedom where I can focus on my academic studies and extracurricular activities that will advance my career and skills. I am a part of a wonderful community of agriculturists and am looking forward to being an advocate for this ever growing industry. I will strive to one day give back to the agriculture industry through volunteerism, mentorship, and eventually financial donations.
As I enter the second semester of my second year in the School of Veterinary Medicine curriculum, I ponder my career opportunities for when I graduate in two and a half years. The career choices within veterinary medicine are manifold yet the areas of biomedical research, food production, and regulation/policy continue to come into view as I explore my options and relate them to my passions of feeding the ever-growing world population. I have chosen the impactful path towards food animal medicine as I was blessed to grow up surrounded by agriculture. My passion to produce safe and sustainable food sources and give back to the agriculture industry that has shaped me, greatly stems from the industry leaders who have mentored me on my journey. My immersion into this industry ranged from breeding, raising, and showing animals, working on multiple dairies, interning on a 75,000-sow farm, and attaining school jobs in research laboratories. If my career path does not go specifically down the path of biomedical research, I would like to keep research as a stronghold in my career. I have experienced local, on-farm research projects that also result in improvements towards the agricultural industry. From feed studies, altered vaccination protocols, housing changes, and so on research is done daily in large animal veterinary medicine. We take chances, we try new things, and we find what works best for each of our clients. Utilizing the knowledge I have gained in vet school and combining it with the diverse experiences I have in multiple agricultural sectors; I will be able to give my clients options and we can implement new ideas to determine how to best suit their operation and set goals for the future. These individual experiments can then be utilized towards other farms as options that may improve their operations. After gaining practical veterinary profession experience within the clinical field, I would eventually like to dedicate my experience towards regulation and policy. I recently listened to Wisconsin’s State Veterinarian, Dr. Darlene Konkle, describe her career path towards her current employment. I am eager to continue to pursue experiences that allow me to learn about regulation and policy. This includes externing with the AVMA, utilizing my selective period (last week of school) to shadow people like Dr. Konkle, and increasing my connections with those who serve as district and state veterinarians. This career path is important to me as it will allow me to protect animal and human health, aid in the decision making process for regulations that impact farmers and veterinarians, and overall improve the veterinary profession. I am not entering veterinary medicine to do the same thing every day. I am entering veterinary medicine to provide food to more people, create lifelong relationships with my clients, improve animal welfare, and make tomorrow a better day for all involved in agriculture. My beginnings in veterinary medicine were started by similar people who were looking to improve our world and this legacy I aim to continue.