Thank you to all the Targeting Excellence Sponsors for your generous donations, its Board, and Committees for their time and devotion to this program. I deeply appreciate your support of my dream of become a veterinarian. It has been a dream of mine for a very long time and your generous scholarship will help relieve some of the financial strain and allow me to focus more on my studies.
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 dedication towards becoming a food animal production veterinarian. Following my graduation in May of 2019, I will begin my studies at University of Minnesota’s School of Veterinary Medicine in August.
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. Though I come from a dairy and sheep background, my current focus has been placed on learning swine and beef production practices. I spent a fall semester in the Beef Production class, studying different aspects of beef production management. Additionally, I spent this past summer 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. My internship at Holden Farms allowed me to discover my passion for pigs, which I hope to develop and grow in my further studies and experiences.
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 consumers and the agricultural industry truly is. This event has inspired me to become a veterinarian that can 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.