Hi friends! My last post was pretty somber, but we’re back on track and ready to share more about the aspects of agriculture that aren’t farming or ranching. This week’s “Hi, I’m Agriculture” post is by my friend Jacque. She is about to finish veterinary school with am emphasis on large animals. Jacque is a horse person, a rancher’s daughter, and a Florida native who has followed to dreams to the Caiman Islands and Oklahoma (where she’s finishing up vet school now). Aside from being a tough cookie for finishing vet school and traveling all over to do it, she’s just a downright fantastic lady. I’m glad to have gotten to know her and feel very blessed that she was willing to share her agriculture story here!
Growing up in a small rural town on a small ranch and being involved with agricultural, it was only natural that I continue down that path. My lifelong dream of becoming a veterinarian is right around the corner.
I have been actively involved in every aspect of agriculture from the family cattle ranch to Future Farmers of America (FFA). I grew up growing our own vegetables and raising our own meat whether it was beef or pork. When I hit middle school, I was introduced to FFA and that was a real eye opener. It has made me into the woman and soon-to-be-doctor I am today.
When you think of agriculture most people might not consider a veterinarian as being “agricultural.” When you think of a veterinarian you think of the guy or girl who gets to play with puppies and kittens all day. What about the ones that are called out in the middle of the night for a cow who is having trouble delivering her calf? Now THAT’S the veterinarian that I know.
When you bite into a juicy steak, or chomp down on some yummy sticky baby back ribs or even a chicken leg, what goes through your mind? I bet the first thing is “Wow, this tastes good!” or even, “I would like this recipe.” Well, I am here to tell you that there is a lot more that goes into preparing that meat for the greater population consumption. There are hand-selected veterinarians that work on the assembly line in a meat plant ensuring that the carcass are safe to go into the food chain. These veterinarians stand on the line examining every carcass that comes by and they have strict rules and regulations to follow in order to make your food safe.
Hi, I’m Dr. Agriculture, and I work at your local agricultural fair, rodeo, and many more events keeping all animals safe and free of disease. When you think of the word zoonotic, who do you think protects you from these highly contagious and potentially deadly diseases? That’s right, veterinarians! And we are trained and educated on how to prevent and educate the public about these diseases. Most human physicians, if they come in contact with a zoonotic disease, might have you ask your veterinarian if they have heard of it. Most do not go through the extensive training that we do in this field.
So, next time you hear someone say “I’m agriculture” think of the doctor behind the scenes keeping animals and you safe from outbreak of deadly infectious diseases. There are many aspects to agriculture and it is worth taking time to learn how and what people do to keep this country running. Without agriculture, we would be hungry, naked and potentially sick. Think about that…