A group of current veterinary students at Iowa State University are helping recruit future students to treat the animals on farms in Iowa and across the country. Patrick Halbur, an interim associate dean in I-S-U’s College of Veterinary Medicine, says the school found it had a shortage of students training to treat mixed species or animals on the farm. He says the main reason for a lack in interest in the area is because fewer kids from the farm are going to veterinary school. Halbur says vet students have been choosing to focus on other areas of interest off the farm. He says one is treating companion animals, like dogs, cats and exotic animals. He says there’s also a great demand for people to work in food safety and other types of government jobs. Halbur says 75 students formed the “Veterinary Student Mixed Animal Recruitment Team” and go out and give presentations on the issue to all sorts of groups. He says they go out to 4-H clubs, F-F-A clubs, and kennel clubs. He says they like to go with a local veterinarian and talk about all the opportunities there are in that particular profession. Halbur says there’s a perception that traveling to rural Iowa farms to treat animals is less rewarding professionally and monetarily — but he says they’ve surveyed practicing vets and found that’s not true. He says the surveys show that most of the vets interviewed work in communities with less than five-thousand people and they’re extremely satisfied with where they live, the quality of life and their income. Halbur says it looks like the recruiting effort is paying off, as applications for the vet-med school are up.
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