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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act

Veterinarians play a crucial role in the health and management of farm animals.
Photo credit/source
As a 3rd year veterinary student, animal care is of top importance to me.  I believe it’s a great day when veterinarians, ranchers, and the government can join together and pass a law that not only benefits veterinarians and ranchers, but ultimately benefits the animals we strive to care for.
On August 1st, the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act was signed into law allowing veterinarians to carry controlled drugs outside of their clinics and across state lines.  This becomes extremely important in providing pain management, anesthesia, or humane euthanasia to patients that are unable to be brought into a clinic. 
The president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Clark Fobian, DVM, says, “To be a veterinarian, you must be willing to go to your patients when they cannot come to you, and this means being able to bring all of the vital medications you need in your medical bag.”
Check out more information about the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act at the AVMA website:
Alex Grieves

Friday, September 12, 2014


Have you ever had a random realization that you have used a certain term or phrase in too many conversations to count, but have never actually researched the true definition?

I just had that moment.

It is a word we hear many times, especially as it relates to discussions we care most about.


I have used the word before, and could offer a solid attempt at describing what it means. Could I recite the actual dictionary definition, though? Nope! I decided to look it up, and I was actually rather disappointed. Now, allow me to explain. Don’t get me wrong. I am certainly not disagreeing with the dictionary, and absolutely agree that it is important to “support or recommend a particular cause” (which, in case you were wondering, is the definition). But, we hear many times how important it is to be advocates for agriculture and, in that use of the word, I think we are missing an important link: education.

One of my favorite books is The Man Who Fed the World by Leon Hesser. The book is a biography of Norman Borlaug, the Father of the Green Revolution. This man changed the world of food production and saved hundreds of millions of lives from starvation in the process. Did he do so by discovering a high-yielding variety of wheat, and then simply “recommending the cause?” Of course not! He educated scientists and producers around the world to utilize what he discovered.

The education that occurred throughout the years of the Green Revolution was two-way. Borlaug was constantly educating himself in his area of expertise – plant pathology and genetics – in order to continue making such incredible scientific advancements. He also knew that both modern technology and natural resources differed greatly in different areas of the world, and was constantly educating himself of the different needs. Knowing that he wanted his efforts to continue to expand, he worked to educate other scientists on his findings, and those scientists were willing learn more and accept these advancements. Producers were willing to become educated on this new method of production, and began to implement it into their own practices. Individuals around the world had questions, and it is through the questions that were asked and answered that Borlaug and those he worked with were able to revolutionize production agriculture and feed the world.

I was not raised in a family that earned its primary income in production agriculture. But, I was raised in rural America, around those who produce to feed the world and were willing to answer my questions. It has been through those questions and conversations that I have gained a true appreciation for the hard work, responsibility and stewardship of those who dedicate their livelihoods to agriculture.

Take that dictionary definition and place the word “education” within it, and allow true education to lay the foundation. Have questions? Ask them!
Jordan Pieschl

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Checking Cows and Summer Rain

Hello, everyone!  My name is Cassie Schmidtberger, and I am a veterinary student at Kansas State University.  I’m from the small town of Victoria in western Kansas where my family runs a cow/calf operation consisting mainly of Red Angus cross cattle.  Now, if you’ve heard anything about western Kansas, you have heard it compared to the desert.  We’ve been in a significant drought for a long time.  However, this summer we were blessed with rain!  A lot of rain!  It was great!  It was also muddy.  As the principal “cow checker” over the summer, I had the job of going around to our multiple pastures and making sure the cows, calves, and bulls were all well and healthy, not to mention in the pasture where they were supposed to be.  With all the rain, there were several roads that got slimy, and some that were just plain impassable.
Lots of rain leads to flooded roads
Lots of rain leads to flooded roads
That meant I got to check cows on a four-wheeler (ATV) for probably half the summer.  This led to a great farmer’s tan, but also some pretty great opportunities to interact with our cattle.  You’ll notice in the picture to the right that I’m on the four-wheeler, and those cows are headed straight for me.   

checking cows in the pasture
Curious cows checking out the four-wheeler
Curious cattle!
They literally ran up to sniff and lick on the four-wheeler.  I’m sure it tasted like mud, but oh well.  It was a great moment for me.  To see our animals happy, with green grass, fresh water, and playing with me really drove home just how much I love what I do and the career I’m going to enter. I want every producer’s animals to be just as happy, healthy and full of life as our cows are.  Now that I’m back in Manhattan and no longer checking cows, I like to think on that day to remind me that my hard work in veterinary school is worth it, and that not all the happy cows are in California J.


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