Thank you to the Targeting Excellence sponsors, board of directors, and state committees that have made this scholarship possible. It means a great deal to me to see how many of you have put your faith in my career and the careers of my peers in the food animal production industry. Your generosity has helped me continue to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a veterinarian, and I cannot thank you enough!
I am currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science Pre-Vet emphasis. Additionally, I have been accepted into the University of Minnesota’s VetFAST program. This program is an early acceptance program into University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine for undergraduate students who have clearly showed their desire and dedication towards becoming a food animal production veterinarian.Before beginning my education in vet school, I have used, and will continue to use, my time in undergraduate school to understand production practices of food animal species. As I come from a dairy and sheep background, my focused has been placed on swine and beef production practices. I have spent this past fall as part of the Beef Production class, studying different aspects of beef production management, and this upcoming spring, I will be interning at Holden Farms to begin my knowledge of swine production management. I believe that my knowledge of production management for different food animal species will allow me to better serve my clients in the future as a veterinarian.
Upon receiving my DVM, I plan to practice in rural Minnesota for 5-10 years gaining experience and communicating with producers. After this time, I plan to return to a university as a professor to conduct research and educate future veterinarians using the experience I gained practicing in Minnesota.One of the driving forces behind my aspiration to be a food animal production veterinarian is to educate consumers and producers. I have participated in numerous agricultural education events to provide a greater understanding about agricultural processes to the general consumer. One specific instance from one of these agricultural days really stands out in my memory. While demonstrating the cow milking procedure during a community agriculture awareness event, an adult approached me and asked, “Doesn’t that hurt her?” It was in that moment that I realized how deep the rift between the urban community and the agricultural industry truly is. This event has inspired me to become a veterinarian that not only treats animals but can educate as well.Another aspect of my aspiration to be a food animal production veterinarian is to improve food animal production practices through research. Through my time in 4-H and FFA, I have developed a keen interest in conducting research experiments. I continued to grow and develop this interest in college by obtaining a temporary research position in a research lab at the University of Minnesota. This experience allowed me to be part of a professional lab and learn what is involved with organizing and operating research at a university or company.My passions, education, and experience have all lead me towards one goal, becoming a food animal production veterinarian. As there is a shortage of food animal production veterinarians, I plan on being part of the solution to bring the care and help needed by many food animal producers brought on by this shortage. The food animal production is a very diverse and important industry, and I hope to play my part in securing its future.
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Targeting Excellence PO Box 759 RoseHill, NC 28458
For questions please call: Rachel Virden 678-448-2368