The American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) Foundation and the National Milk Producers Federation’s National Dairy FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) Program named veterinary students, Sarah Albers and Maggie Brown, as the recipients of the inaugural Summer Dairy Externship and Research Program.
This program was jointly developed by AABP and FARM to provide a grant to first- and second-year veterinary students to gain exposure to both a private veterinary practice as well as an academic research experience. The Summer Dairy Externship and Research Program is a 10-week externship at an AABP-member private practice that will also include a research project that supports the National Dairy FARM Program areas of Animal Care, Antimicrobial Stewardship, Workforce Development, Environmental Stewardship or Biosecurity.
AABP President, Dr. Sandra Godden, said that the externship will allow students to further develop their knowledge, technical and communication skills. Additionally, they will acquire a deeper understanding of the industry, systems and producers they will serve which will contribute to improved practice-readiness and career success after graduation.
Executive Director of the National Dairy FARM Program Emily Yeiser Stepp said that she is excited to see this program encouraging more veterinarians to consider careers in dairy. “Dairy veterinarians are crucial to the success of our industry and instilling a passion in the profession will allow for a continued successful collaboration between dairy farmers and the veterinary community,” Yeiser Stepp said. “Both of the students selected this year show exceptional promise in the work they are interested in and I’m looking forward to seeing how the Summer Dairy Externship and Research Program contributes to their success in the future.”
About the recipients
Sarah Albers is a second-year veterinary student at the University of Wisconsin. She has a passion for dairy science and wants to help dairy producers improve the lives of their animals and promote industry sustainability. Albers’ research project, Evaluating Male Calf Care on the Dairy Compared to Female Calves and their Sale Value, will compare standards of care for male and female calves, evaluate calf health at the time of sale, and investigate if sale price is influenced by calf care on dairies.
“As a veterinarian, my goal is to be at the forefront of changes made to the dairy industry,” Albers said. “At the end of the day, dairy farmers want what’s best for their cattle; but this can put them in a difficult spot with economics. By understanding what calf buyers will pay more for, we can work with producers to get them to raise higher valued calves while improving animal care.”
Maggie Brown is a first-year veterinary student at the University of Minnesota. Though Brown has always been interested in the dairy industry, she has not had many opportunities to work with dairy operations before. “This externship and research project will give me the ability to work with a dairy facility and a veterinarian in the dairy industry while also furthering my knowledge in the world of research,” Brown said.
Brown’s research project, Does Spiking Colostrum Supplement Powder Directly into Colostrum Affect Transfer of Passive Immunity, will look at the impact of feeding dairy calves maternal colostrum spiked with unreconstituted supplemental colostrum. “This research project is important because dairy calves are the future of the dairy industry and we want to make sure we are doing our best to support their needs and welfare,” she said.
About AABP and FARM
AABP is a membership-based, not-for-profit organization serving cattle veterinary medicine professionals across the United States, Canada and other countries. Visit aabp.org and like them on Facebook.
Created by The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) in partnership with Dairy Management Inc, the FARM Program works with all U.S. dairy farmers, co-ops and processors, to demonstrate to dairy customers and consumers that the dairy industry is taking the very best care of cows and the environment, producing safe, wholesome milk and adhering to the highest standards of workforce development.
NMPF, based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. NMPF’s member cooperatives produce the majority of U.S. milk, making NMPF the voice of dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. Visit nmpf.org for more.