Thomas Duff

Thomas Duff

2018 Graduate Award (Minnesota)
2017 Graduate Award (Minnesota)
2016 Associate Award (Minnesota)
2015 Associate Award (Minnesota)

I am thankful for the the monetary support, time, and effort that has been provided to Targeting Excellence. This is my fifth year receiving a scholarship through Targeting Excellence, and I am very grateful for the support that I have received from this scholarship program and the food animal agriculture industry. I enjoy the opportunity to network with leaders within the food animal agriculture industry at the annual sporting clay event in Minnesota. The support for students pursing degrees related to food animal production is encouraging, and I look forward to my career in food animal veterinary medicine.

Hometown:

Hampton, MN

School:

University of Minnesota

Major:

DVM

Career Goals:

I am currently a first-year student at the University of Minnesota – College of Veterinary Medicine. I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science/Pre-vet from the University to Minnesota – Twin Cities. I was accepted into vet school after my sophomore year of undergrad through the VetFAST program. The VetFAST program provides dedicated food animal production students early acceptance into the University of Minnesota – College of Veterinary Medicine. In vet school, I will follow a food animal production track. Upon receiving my DVM, I plan to join a veterinary practice that will enable me to work as a bovine practitioner and a certified bovine embryologist in the Upper Midwest. As a long-term goal, I am considering the possibilities of having my own veterinary practice. This could possibly be achieved by purchasing an existing practice from a retiring veterinarian.

I am pursuing a degree in veterinary medicine because I enjoy working with population medicine. I also recognize that a shortage of food animal veterinarians is emerging across the nation. This situation presents a great opportunity for me to build a veterinary career working with food animals. I grew up on a small beef farm, and I have been very active within the beef industry through FFA, 4-H, and the MN Jr Limousin Association. Having shown and raised cattle for the past 14 years, I have gained a lot of knowledge about animal health. While I am practicing, I would like to continue managing my herd of Limousin cattle with my brother. This will allow me to keep current with changes occurring within the beef industry and keep me connected with beef producers. My time working with our farm’s veterinarians taught me that when veterinarians are personally connected with food animal production, they can better appreciate and value the issues that farmers face on a day to day basis. They can also better understand the most efficient means of dealing with health and breeding related issues. I believe that continued hands on experiences in beef production will enable me to better serve my clients.

My level of knowledge and experience regarding food animal production due to academic and work experiences set me apart. Through my undergrad, I attempted to place myself in a better position to serve my future clients by enrolling in classes that related to situations I will encounter. I took as many undergraduate production management and nutrition courses as possible, while still fulfilling my prerequisites for vet school. While in vet school, I plan to continue taking advantage of as many of the food animal courses that I can. In addition to academics, I am passionate about my hands-on work experiences. My work experiences with my own farm, the College of Veterinary Medicine-Bovine Blood Lab, Davis Family Dairies, Riverview LLP, Wulf Cattle, and the University of Minnesota Beef Research and Outreach Center have provided me the opportunity to expand my knowledge from the foundation that is provided in the classroom. These experiences have shown me real world applications for the things that I have learned.

The livestock industry has given me a great appreciation for food animal vets, and the beef industry sparked my interest in pursuing this career. After spending many hours riding along and assisting food animal veterinarians, I can truly see myself working in this field.