On June 24, 2010 Summer Food Systems Fellowship students attended a meeting at the Green Meadow Farms Training Center for Dairy Professionals in Else, MI.
The Best of Hands-On Training in Production Animal Medicine:
Meeting Highlights Strengths of MSU College of Veterinary Medicine’s Training Center for Dairy Professionals and Practice-Based Ambulatory Program
ELSIE, MI–Practice-based Ambulatory Program (PBAP) practitioners, Summer Food Systems Fellowship (SFSF) program students, members of the MVMA Food Animal Committee, and faculty and staff from the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences (LCS) converged last week for a meeting held at Michigan State University’s Training Center for Dairy Professionals (TCDP) at Green Meadow Farms in Elsie, MI.
The goal of the meeting was to increase practitioner understanding of resources available to food animal focused students and enhance the utilization of those resources. Accordingly, attendees received an overview of the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) food animal programs, with an emphasis on the breadth and depth of educational opportunities available at TCDP. Practitioners, students, and faculty also toured the training center at Green Meadow Farms including the classroom and accommodation building, hospital facility, calf-raising area, maternity facilities, and the milking parlor.
TCDP Director Dr. Lou Neuder, DVM and Curriculum Coordinator Dr. Will Raphael, BVSc led tours and discussed DVM students’ involvement at TCDP. With faculty support and supervision, students participate in an array of activities such as diagnosis and treatment of sick cows, calf health management, preventative medicine programs, and cow and calf nutrition.
This unique private-public partnership between Green Meadow Farms and MSU CVM provides hands-on training in dairy health management and herd and farm-level problem solving, allowing DVM and other professional students to develop the skills necessary to achieve success in production animal medicine. In fact, in a conversation with the MVMA Food Animal Committee, 2009 MSU CVM graduate Dr. Jackie Ponstein commented that the training she received at TCDP and CVM well-prepared her to serve the needs of the food animal industry.
PBAP bolsters this hands-on training experience by exposing students to opportunities in a mixture of production systems that includes farms of varying sizes and specialties. Dr. Michelle Kopcha, DVM and Coordinator of PBAP emphasizes this point, “PBAP practitioners offer our students a unique, on-farm educational experience based in large animal private practice. The efforts of our PBAP practitioners really complement the training students receive at TCDP. Our goal is to optimize both experiences to the benefit of all parties involved.”
With the multitude of learning experiences available to CVM students, the meeting provided an excellent opportunity for practitioners and faculty to learn about the Training Center at Green Meadow Farms and ultimately improve the overall learning experience for food animal focused students. To find out more about MSU CVM’s food animal programs, visit cvm.msu.edu/departments/large-animal-clinical-sciences.