Interest areas: Small ruminants
Hometown: Montevideo, Minn.
Undergrad, major: U of M Twin Cities, animal science
Year in vet school: Fourth
How did you become passionate about animal science and veterinary medicine?
I have always been really interested in sheep, goats, alpacas, and llamas. My dad is a crop farmer and neither of my parents had a livestock background but they started raising dairy goats when I was 4 years old. I also started raising alpacas when I was in middle school. Working with goats and alpacas and showing them in 4-H is what made me want to go into veterinary medicine.
Are you still interested in working with goats and alpacas?
The program is very open to people working with any type of food animal. When I started undergrad, I wondered whether dairy goats were considered food animals. My advisor taught me that they are, and alpacas and llamas are even lumped in as well because they are production animals, since they produce wool. What’s nice about VetFAST is that it’s not a program specifically for people only interested in swine, poultry, or dairy production. There are students in the program that have many different interests.
How has VetFAST affected your education?
When I learned about it in undergrad, it helped me stay committed to the idea of working with food animals and I’m really glad that I did because I have quite a passion for it. It was also a chance for me to meet faculty within the vet school who work with food animals and that brought into view the different types of medicine you can go into within veterinary medicine.
Ultimately, I am really interested in going into regulatory medicine and working with the USDA or the Board of Animal Health, hopefully working with livestock diseases and foreign animal disease. So, I am also doing a masters in public health, which is adding a large cost to my education and I probably would not be able to do that if I had not gotten a scholarship from VetFAST.
What is your favorite part of the program?
Freshman year, there was a prospective students meeting and then there were annual admitted students check ins. That was my favorite part because I got to meet older vet students and stay connected with faculty. Before even starting vet school I felt like I already had great connections in the CVM. It kept me interested in veterinary medicine.