The Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine (PVM) has strategic priorities to address the challenges of workforce shortages and lack of diversity within the veterinary medical profession. Through the establishment of multiple novel initiatives including a USDA Multicultural Scholars Program (MSP), PVM has realized a 15.8% increase in historically underrepresented students in the incoming first year DVM class over the past five years. The PVM strategic approach will be presented as a model for other schools and colleges within the health professions seeking to increase diversity and inclusion.
Chair, Academic Food Supply Veterinary Medicine Subcommittee
Keynote Video Presentation
Dan Thomson, Kansas State University
This video presentation will focus on changing demographics in food animal clients and farms, the context and importance of culture interactions, as well as the impact of labor on animal welfare, food safety, and veterinary treatment compliance. It will discuss the need for veterinarians to be able to communicate with producers, animal caretakers, advocacy and stakeholder groups, corporate America, and animal welfare organizations. Following the video presentation will be a question and answer session with Dr. Thomson, who will be participating via teleconference.
Developing Relationships with Our Immigrant Neighbors through Animal Health Outreach
Mary Hondalus, University of Georgia
George Saperstein, Tufts University
This presentation will discuss the outreach efforts at the University of Georgia and Tufts University designed to engage socially disadvantaged immigrant farmers and livestock industry workers in educational and service activities focused on improving livestock and companion animal health. In addition, it will briefly touch on the importance of overcoming cultural stereotypes and the facilitation of communication between cultures.
Patient: Global Food Production
David Galligan, University of Pennsylvania
Emerging generations of veterinary students face one of the most daunting challenges to the profession: how do we produce sufficient food for our global needs while not destroying the environment? Food production has always been a vital and concerning task of mankind, however it will become more ominous as the world demand for animal protein rapidly increases due to both population growth and emerging developing world affluence. Veterinary medicine had its origins in food production by successfully dealing with the devastating effects of infectious animal diseases on livestock industries as well as the consequential human illness in the case of zoonotic diseases. This successful historical legacy is still a fundamental and necessary domain of veterinary medicine and is exemplified globally in the profession’s role in disease diagnostics, surveillance, as well as the implementation of control strategies. However, animal production systems are very diverse throughout the world reflecting the very real scarcity of necessary inputs to animal production as well the cultural and governmental history of a given country. Veterinary students must understand that animal systems are complex whether they are intensive or extensive and face many challenges beyond infectious agents. These production systems and their products are valued differently on a global level, and each has consequential effects on local economic sustainability, animal welfare, as well as environmental issues. To expose and engage veterinary students to a broader vision of global animal production and its emerging complex and sometimes paradoxical issues, we have created two courses (An Introduction to Global Veterinary Public Health, Veterinary Medicine Global Health & Food Security) and an array of global field experiences sponsoring extended visits to animal production systems in China, India, Thailand and Nepal.
Online Continuing Education Courses for Spanish Speakers, Verification of Employee Training, Hispanic Cattle Care, and Understanding Latino Culture
Ralph Richardson, Kansas State University
Not Your Granddad’s Dairy
John Champagne, University of California, Davis
More than half of the milk supply in the U.S. is produced by dairy herds with more than 1,000 cows. Today’s modern dairies are large and capital intensive so that they can take advantage of economies of size. Workers at these dairies are assigned specific jobs and need to become specialists at those tasks so that these dairies can take advantage of economies of scale. Today’s dairy production medicine veterinarians must be highly skilled and trained to meet the expectations of these milk-producing agribusinesses. For our graduates to be successful, these veterinarians must understand the particular disease situations and production-limiting constraints that are unique to each client's dairy. Dairy production medicine veterinarians must provide leadership and training for herd managers and dairy farm workers regarding disease monitoring, identification of cases, treatment protocols, vaccination and mastitis control programs, proper nutrition and feed management, and biosecurity programs. Through our core herd program, the VMTRC works with a diverse group of owners of dairy herds and calf ranches which includes a range of management structures, ethnic backgrounds, and ages. The workers on these operations include a large proportion of Hispanic employees which vary in their job experience and English-speaking ability. Our clinicians, faculty members, and residents not only model their roles as veterinarians and professionals within our core herds, but they also engage the students during their rotations so that they can develop as professionals in all of these important areas that are critical for success as a food supply veterinarian.
West Alabama Herd Health Outreach Objective
Kenneth Newkirk, Tuskegee University
The West Alabama Herd Health Outreach project is an herd health maintenance program, initiated in September 1989 to provide services for limited-resources farmers in the West Alabama Black Belt region. The service area of this program has covered approximately six counties in the Black Belt region, with services extended to the Poarch Creek Indian Reservation in south Alabama. The focus of this program has been two-fold: (1) to provide services to an underserved rural community, and (2) to provide additional educational/training opportunities for students in a variety of environments. The objective of this program, with regards to students, is to provide students with additional training opportunities for correlation between medical theory and clinical application in a variety of rural settings; in particular client education and communication, management, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. The objectives of the program, with regards to farmers are:
- to improve quality,and productivity of the livestock, thereby increasing profits
- to reduce animal losses,thus financial losses,due to disease and mismanagement
- to improve food safety and quality by promoting preventative medicine, and good management practices.
The project is mainly in service of cattle herds, but has on numerous occasions necessitated the treatment of other species: caprine, equine, porcine, assorted canines, and other species.
Effective Communication with Hispanics: Integrating Diversity Awareness and Skills into the Iowa State and Kansas State Veterinary Food Animal Programs
Alex Ramirez, Iowa State University
The Hispanic workforce in food animal production continues to grow. Efficient communication requires not only a basic attempt to speak Spanish, but probably more importantly, an understanding of the cultural differences which can help build trust and respect. Simple skills like understanding which last name you need to use for communication, using the correct gestures for greeting, and the importance of family are all critical in developing a trusting relationship with Hispanics. It is also important to understand why many times Hispanic workers say they do not speak English yet they seem to understand several of the things you are talking to them about. Formulating questions into a yes/no format can help overcome many misunderstandings. This will be a brief review of Iowa State and Kansas State’s integration of Hispanic diversity in their food animal programs.
Mentoring and Communications Training to Serve a Diverse Population
Dan Posey, Texas A&M University
The National Center of Excellence in Dairy Veterinary Medicine: A Collaborative, Integrated Model of Teaching Students for the Future of Dairy Production Medicine
Laura Molgaard, University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota is leading a collaborative effort with the University of Illinois, Kansas State University, and the University of Georgia called The National Center of Excellence in Dairy Production Medicine Education. The National Center of Excellence in Dairy Veterinary Medicine will offer eight weeks of education modules covering the critical knowledge and skill sets needed by new veterinary graduates entering the dairy industry. Senior veterinary students from all four colleges come to the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine’s Dairy Education Center (DEC) for these modules, beginning in August 2012. The integrated curriculum includes classroom, experiential laboratory, web-based, and field experiences in a wide array of dairy industry components including development of competencies relevant to diversity and inclusion including: Communication and Leadership, Media Training, Dairy Spanish, and Dairy Herd Investigations (including design of animal health management protocols and communicating them to dairy personnel).
The Summer Dairy Institute: A Collaborative, Integrated Training Experience to Accelerate Young Veterinarians' Careers in Dairy Production Medicine Held at Cornell University
Daryl Nydam, Cornell University
Julia Felippe, Cornell University
Cornell University has led a collaborative effort since 2004 to accelerate and augment the ability of motivated veterinary students and new veterinarians to contribute to the modern dairy industry while fostering development of professional networks. In nine years of the program there have been 183 participants from 29 North American veterinary colleges and nine overseas colleges. The SDI is presented as an intensive six week modular course covering important knowledge and skill sets to serve the modern dairy industry and discerning consumers. The integrated curriculum includes classroom, laboratory, and field experiences in a wide array of dairy industry components. Instruction is provided by more than 50 different people drawn from academia, government, and private sectors. Since the beginning, it was recognized that competencies relevant to diversity must be included for the success of the participants. The related topics address: communication, dairy Spanish, cultural awareness, standard operating procedure development in a second language (Spanish), and labor management issues, and they mix veterinary students and new graduates.
Questions and Answers
Trevor Ames, Chair, Academic Food Supply Veterinary Medicine Subcommittee