COLLEGE STATION, Texas —The first class of veterinary students in a new academic track that focuses on food animals – such as cattle, goats, sheep, and swine – are preparing to graduate from Texas A&M University and enter the workforce at the end of the Spring 2017 semester, Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp announced Tuesday.
The new food animal track is part of a larger effort to help rural Texas and the food animal industry. To see a video with Chancellor Sharp and two students in the food animal program, please visit http://chancellor.tamus.edu/videos/.
Dr. Eleanor Green, the Carl B. King dean of veterinary medicine, along with her team, in the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM), designed the food animal track for veterinary students after members of the Texas Legislature and the Higher Education Coordinating Board identified a need for more rural-based food animal veterinarians. State officials concluded in 2009 — and reaffirmed last year — that Texas should not build a second veterinary college, but noted a need still exists in rural Texas for practitioners dedicated to food animals.
“At Texas A&M, we are working hard to meet the needs of rural Texas as we send some of our finest graduates to practice in our state’s countryside,” Chancellor Sharp said. “We heard the call from state leaders, and we delivered.”
The CVM opened its doors to a new $123 million academic complex in 2016. The university built the state-of-the-art facility using money from the Permanent University Fund.The new building will accommodate more students, including those enrolled in the new food animal track.
To further answer the call from rural Texas’ agriculture community, Chancellor Sharp and Dr. Green created a unique partnership between the CVM and four system universities with a goal to encourage more underrepresented minorities and students from rural communities to become veterinarians and return to their hometowns to live and work.
The universities in the partnership include: West Texas A&M University; Tarleton State University; Prairie View A&M University and Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
More about the universities in the partnership:
- West Texas A&M University operates its own feedlot in a region that raises a third of the nation’s beef and boasts expanding dairy and swine industries. The Beef Carcass Research Center and the Nance Ranch Teaching and Research Facility also are run by West Texas A&M.
- Tarleton State is home to the state’s only university-based dairy. It is operated as a public-private partnership and collaborates regularly with the dairy cattle industry. The university also has a Veterinary Technology program.
- Prairie View A&M has the International Goat Research Center and more than 1,000 dairy and meat goats. It is one of the largest and oldest goat research programs in the nation. It specializes in the areas of genetics, reproductive physiology, nutrition and veterinary health.
- And finally, Texas A&M-Kingsville’s Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute is the leading wildlife research organization in the state. It also has a Veterinary Technology program with a new state-of-the-art facility.
About The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $4.2 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities and seven state agencies, the Texas A&M System educates more than 148,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $946 million in FY 2015 and helped drive the state’s economy.
Contact: Laylan Copelin
Vice Chancellor of Marketing and Communications
(512) 289-2782 cell