Sara Roerick 2016 Scholarship Winner

Sara Roerick

Words cannot express how thankful I am for receiving a Targeting Excellence scholarship. Every dollar truly does make a difference, and being able to put this large amount towards my education will continue to help in the long run. I am so thankful this organization puts so much emphasis on helping young individuals continue their education within the agriculture industry. It solidifies the reason why I want to stay in this industry and inspires me to pay it forward once I am established in my career. Thank you!

Hometown: Swanville, MN

School: University of Minnesota

Major / Species: Veterinary Medicine

Career Goals: My experience and devotion to the agriculture industry all have roots to my family’s dairy farm. After growing up on a farm, I found myself with a deep passion for animal health. I soon realized being a large animal veterinarian would help to carry this enthusiasm on. For this reason, I decided to attend the University of Minnesota in hopes of being accepted to their VetFAST program, which is an early acceptance program to the College of Veterinary Medicine for those interested in studying Food Animal Medicine. In the summer of 2013, I was accepted to the VetFAST program. With my acceptance, I had to continue working towards completing my Animal Science degree as well as the pre-requisites for Veterinary School while maintaining a 3.4 cumulative GPA. I then graduated in the spring of 2015 with my Bachelor’s of Animal Science which allowed me to continue on with my education by entering Veterinary School in the fall of 2015. Continuing through Veterinary School, I will be able to develop the necessary skills and knowledge I need to become a veterinarian. Participating in events at school such as necropsy and ultrasound wet labs, as well as competing in the Dairy Challenge have helped me gain additional experience outside the classroom. This summer, I was selected to participate in a Zoetis Bovine Externship and will be spending four weeks with a bovine veterinary practice. With this externship I hope to improve my palpation and surgical skills, as well as learn more about what it takes to run a successful practice and maintain good relationships with clients. I believe this experience will help shape me into a better student and eventually veterinarian, putting me further ahead in my starting career. However, it has been and will continue to be my firsthand experiences of working with animals and visiting different farms that will help me to be successful in animal health and improving different farm operations. I have an interest in using my education to help farmers incorporate more technology into their farms to take their management to the next level. I have been able to experience this first hand as my family made the transition to a robotic milking system over a year ago. Automation in barns has been around in other production systems for quite some years such as in poultry and swine, and it is just starting to become even more advanced in the dairy industry. I would find it intriguing and rewarding to recommend different technologies that help farmers monitor different aspects of their farm to help minimize waste and amplify production. In summary, after obtaining my Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine, I hope to start my career as a practicing veterinarian for dairy farms in Minnesota. I hope to work closely with the farmers to continually improve their operations, incorporate technology, and focus on the health of the animals. My goal will always be to improve the health of animals, safety of our food supply, and to move forward sustainably.