Thank you to the TE Sponsors, Board and Committees for supporting my veterinary education through this scholarship.
I am very fortunate to have found my way into animal agriculture, and am working towards my career goal of becoming a food animal veterinarian. I was 13 when I touched a cow for the first time. Growing up in Baltimore, I did not encounter many large ruminants. During the summer of 2011, I attended “farm camp” on a small working dairy in central Pennsylvania and found a practical focus for my lifelong interest in animals. I learned how to milk, assist with calvings, administer medications and perform many aspects of dairy management. These experiences helped me find my passion within veterinary medicine. However, it was not always the easiest path to take. My peers and teachers at an urban, public high school questioned why I wanted to work with cows during school breaks instead of going on vacation. I found a number of strong and supportive people to act as my mentors in the dairy community.
I am currently a third-year veterinary student at University of California- Davis School of Veterinary Medicine focusing on livestock medicine. My veterinary education will allow me to disseminate new ideas and help improve the efficiency and profitability of the farms that I serve. I also hope to contribute to the agriculture industry in other ways as a veterinarian. I will achieve this by helping with public education about animal agriculture. Coming from a city I have seen the disconnect between consumers and their food supply. I hope to be able to use this background to connect consumers and their farmers through educational events, 4-H and FFA, and state or local fair exhibits.
I am looking forward to going into rural food animal practice. I hope to contribute to the food supply chain by working with farmers to raise the best quality animals that will provide safe and wholesome food to consumers. I think this will come in the form of a multi-doctor rural ambulatory practice or as a government food animal veterinarian. Although I am not sure where, geographically, my career will take me, I am planning to work in a rural agricultural setting where there is a large dairy cattle, beef cattle, sheep or goat population. In addition, I would like to continue efforts I have worked on during veterinary school by providing low cost spay and neuter services through working with local shelters or operating a TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release) Clinic. Livestock medicine and shelter medicine are very similar because of their emphasis on herd health and preventative medicine.