Sam Beech

Sam Beech Interest area: Dairy
Hometown: Slayton, Minn.
Undergrad, major: U of M Twin Cities, veterinary science
Year in vet school: Fourth

What made you interested in dairy veterinary medicine?

I grew up milking cows on my neighbor’s dairy farm. Then, I took a career survey in high school and got veterinarian, so I chatted with our local veterinarian who had been out to the dairy farm I worked on a lot. As I spent more time on the dairy farm, I tried to focus more on the treatments and realized I was interested in it.

How did you hear about VetFAST?

I first heard about it during my summer orientation before starting undergrad at the U. I was originally a College of Biological Sciences student when I got accepted because I wanted to keep my options open between veterinary school and medical school. I was planning on doing a lot of animal science classes, though, so I was eventually contacted by my academic advisor who said that if I was interested in animal science and would consider the VetFAST program, I should switch to CFANS and be an animal science major. Later that summer I switched from CBS to CFANS. Since it happened so early on freshman year, I didn’t have to sacrifice a lot in order to apply.

How has the VetFAST scholarship affected your future?

It has taken my final debt load down a significant amount. And VetFAST cements my intention of being a food animal vet, which also made it possible for me to apply to additional College of Veterinary Medicine scholarships that are available for food animal vet students.

What is your favorite part of the program?

I am very satisfied with the support the program has provided me with, both financially and academically. I really enjoy the personal connections I have been able to make. Those connections opened a lot of doors. I ended up working at the bovine blood lab for a couple of years in undergrad thanks to a connection I made with a VetFAST student. And, the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab (VDL) often reaches out to VetFAST students and I got an email sophomore year that they had openings. I applied and started working on the Necropsy floor at the VDL in the fall of my junior year. I still work there now, even in fourth year. It has been a great, flexible job to have through veterinary school. Without VetFAST, I’m not sure I would have found it. There are great opportunities for employment through VetFAST while you’re on campus and good connections to to be made with professors and faculty.