[March 29, 2012; Kennett Square, PA] –Kara Miller has always known that she wanted to be a veterinarian. She spent plenty of time around small animals, but thought her career would benefit from some experience with large animals. Kathy Mahon grew up in 4H, graduated from Delaware Valley College, and knows that she belongs on a dairy farm. Both young women say they have benefited greatly from participating in Penn Vet’s dairy internship.
The Internship in Dairy Herd Management takes place at the Penn Vet’s own Marshak Dairy in Chester County, PA. The farm houses 175 lactating Holstein cows, 30 dry cows and 160 young stock, and is staffed by a herd manager and three full-time farm workers. Veterinary care is provided by Penn Vet’s Field Service. According to dairy coordinator Jon Garber, VMD, “This is a tremendous opportunity for an individual to get real world, hands-on dairy experience.”
For Miller and Mahon, both Maryland natives, the experience has been just that. Says Miller, “Knowing what I now know about the daily operation of a farm, I feel much better prepared to plan what I will study in vet school. I came in to the program wanting to make a career caring for large animals. This experience has only strengthened that desire.” Miller will be heading off to vet school in the fall. Mahon is currently employed at the dairy.
Rob Heslep, dairy manager, says the program is unique. “Working with a smaller dairy such us ours gives the intern the ability to learn all facets of the operation, with the flexibility to put emphasis where he or she is most interested. Our interns also have a chance to take ownership of specific projects.”
Applications for the July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013 internship are now being accepted. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree and dairy or animal science experience, as well as graduates of an AVMA-accredited veterinary technician or technology program will be considered. Primary responsibilities of the internship include all aspects of daily dairy work, calf and transition cow care, breeding, cow health monitoring, record entry and analysis, management of reproductive programs and possible involvement in research projects conducted at the dairy. The Marshak Dairy is located on Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center campus in Kennett Square, PA. Resume and letter of reference can be sent to Dr. Garber at email@example.com or New Bolton Center, 382 West Street Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348-1692.
PHOTO CAPTION: Kathy Mahon, left and Kara Miller, right, with two of their young charges at the Marshak Dairy.