I would like to thank the Targeting Excellence sponsors, board, and committee members for making this scholarship available to me. After growing up on a small family farm, I knew from a young age that I wanted to be involved in the care of farm animals. As a veterinary student now, this scholarship will allow me to engage in important learning opportunities in food animal medicine that would otherwise be too costly for me. In addition, I appreciate knowing that there is a community of food animal professionals who are supportive of my goals. Besides providing monetary support, I believe Targeting Excellence enhances the professional opportunities of food animal oriented students such as myself by providing a network of current and future mentors, friends, and employers. Just as this organization has supported me, I hope to one day give back to rising food animal students! Thank you again!
The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Class of 2021
As a second year veterinary student I am often asked what type of veterinarian I want to be- small animal or large animal? Having grown up on a small family farm in Michigan, this answer has always been easy for me- a large animal veterinarian. Our farm back home, as well as my participation in 4H, taught me many things and instilled in my the importance of agriculture from a young age.
Being involved in the daily workings of our farm was always educational in itself, however I think the greatest lessons I learned were those from working with the animals directly. On our farm, a combination of creatures (from horses, to poultry, to pigs and the occasional cow) taught me that with a little hard work and dedication, I could accomplish my goals. They taught me patience, trust, and most importantly- compassion.
On our farm I was also first exposed to veterinary medicine, where our local large animal vet helped me to see the joy in a preserving animal health. Even some of the veterinary tasks that most people would find mundane or repelling did not phase me. In fact, I was excited with just about every procedure I saw!
Thus I decided to pursue the career of large animal veterinary practice, where I hope to one day work with livestock, especially dairy cattle and some poultry. My goal of becoming a food animal practitioner has carried me through four years of undergraduate education, and now just about halfway through veterinary school. My passion for this field continues to grow with the amount of knowledge that I gain from day to day during my education at the Ohio State University.
As a student I spend a majority of my time in class, but frequently seek opportunities to take my learning outside of the classroom. Some of my favorite activities include participating in wet-labs hosted by the various clubs on our campus, volunteering on projects that relate to human and animal well-being, and participating in food animal related research. This coming summer I am very excited to intern with some food animal practices throughout the region and acquire more hands-on skills that will be crucial in my profession.
I am forever thankful for the opportunity to pursue this calling, and know that my education and extracurricular experiences- coupled with some of that perseverance I learned growing up on our farm- will push me to become a dedicated and knowledgeable veterinarian in the short future. Just as many veterinarians have influenced my current path, I hope to one day give back by introducing other young people in agriculture to this wonderful career!