Eight bovine veterinary students from across the U.S. each received $1,500 awards and all-expenses-paid trips to the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) annual conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Aug. 18-21. Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health sponsored the Bovine Veterinary Student Recognition Awards Program and recognized the students Aug. 19.

“Bovine veterinarians are a vital and irreplaceable professional resource in the animal-health and food industries,” said Dr. Norm Stewart, livestock technical services manager for Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health. “Today’s veterinary students will build upon an established foundation to apply their educations, expertise and unique skill sets to benefit animal health.”

Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health has sponsored the Bovine Veterinary Student Recognition Awards since 2004 and awarded more than $49,000 to 41 students during that time.

“We’re proud to recognize these students for their achievements," Stewart said. "The investment in the program is only a fraction of the value that these fine students will bring to our industry, and we look forward to watching them excel as they continue to make contributions in the field of bovine veterinary medicine.”

The program recognizes students who exemplify dedication and commitment to dairy and/or beef veterinary medicine. Third- and fourth-year veterinary students are eligible to receive the award. Selection is based on work experience, academic achievements, primary interests in veterinary medicine and career goals.


The following students are recipients of the 2010 Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health and AABP Bovine Veterinary Student Recognition Awards:

Elisha Adkins attends the College of Veterinary Medicine at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. She grew up in eastern Oregon, where cattle, horses and agriculture sparked her early interest in livestock production and 4-H. At age 12, she interned at a local veterinary clinic. Since she was a junior in high school, Adkins has spent more than 600 hours interning at a local veterinary clinic, spending half her time at a feedlot in Pasco, Washington. Adkins interned at a dairy in Boardman, Oregon, during the summer of 2009. Her field experiences affirmed her passion for bovine veterinary medicine and taught her the importance of the public education component in a veterinary practice, as she takes on a personal responsibility to portray the livestock industry’s focus not only on food quality and safety but also on animal health and welfare. After Adkins graduates, she plans to begin her career in a mixed animal practice with an emphasis in beef and dairy.

Ashley Cockrell attends the University of California – Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine. She has a rich heritage in the cattle business as the sixth generation on her family’s commercial cow-calf ranch in northeastern California. As a teenager, Cockrell started her own beef-cattle business, managing more than 200 yearlings. Cockrell was working for a small feedlot specializing in bull and heifer development in Yerington, Nevada, when she decided to apply for veterinary school. She has furthered her education while at veterinary school by working in the teaching hospital microbiology lab and as a food-animal surgery technician. Upon graduation, she plans to pursue her master’s degree in preventative veterinary medicine and then return home to start her own veterinary practice, with an emphasis in beef-cattle production, while remaining active on her family’s ranch.

Brian Hartschuh attends the College of Veterinary Medicine at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He grew up on a dairy farm in north-central Ohio. Watching his family’s veterinarians work sparked his initial interest in the career. He remains active in his family’s farm and personally owns nearly 40 head of cattle. Hartschuh traveled throughout Australia for six weeks and studied cattle and sheep production. He also spent two weeks in the Netherlands touring dairy operations. He worked part-time for three-and-a-half years as a student extern for North Central Veterinary Services in Ohio and completed several short-term externships focused in dairy production. This summer, he attended a Summer Dairy Institute Program at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. After graduating from veterinary school, he plans to return home to practice food-animal medicine and remain involved in the family farm.

Elizabeth Homerosky attends the College of Veterinary Medicine at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Growing up on a commercial beef farm in southern Ohio, Homerosky developed her desire to be a food-animal veterinarian due to the lack of professional veterinary services in her region. She has studied animal science in Brazil and Australia, has taken courses in international veterinary medicine and hopes to work internationally in the future. Homerosky has been very involved in livestock showing and judging contests, which also contributed to her interest in bovine medicine. She’s completed four summer internships during undergraduate school andgained experience from her work with a mixed animal veterinary clinic at Stevenson Angus Ranch in Montana and at OSU’s ruminant nutrition lab and Department of Veterinary Preventative Medicine. Homerosky also is interested in public health, food safety and animal welfare and would like to be involved in legislation development. She eventually hopes to start her own large-animal practice in an underserved area focusing on beef production.

Katie (Konkol) Mrdutt attends the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, Minnesota. She was raised on a hobby farm in central Wisconsin and was drawn to food-animal medicine from a food-safety perspective. She began pursuing her career as an undergraduate student involved in a Veterinary Food Animal Scholars program at the University of Minnesota. In veterinary school, Mrdutt has focused on gaining clinical and research experience in the dairy industry. She and her husband manage a cow-calf operation, which has helped her understand the finances of the cattle business. Since 2004, she has worked at the University of Minnesota’s large-animal teaching hospital. After graduation, she plans to practice in the beef and dairy industries and eventually earn her Ph.D. to become a researcher in dairy veterinary science.

Cassandra Peterson attends the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She was active in 4-H and worked on her family’s dairy farm in northern Illinois, which inspired her to pursue veterinary medicine as a career. While pursuing her veterinary degree, she has worked at the Illinois Dairy Research Farm, in research labs and for a mixed animal veterinary practice. She interned for USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service in a beef-harvesting facility in Wisconsin and participated in state lobbying activities in support of veterinary-related bills. Peterson’s ultimate goal is to be a partner in a food-animal veterinary practice in Wisconsin or Minnesota specializing in dairy medicine.

Andy Pike attends Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in Auburn, Alabama. Pike grew up on a dairy farm in south-central Kentucky and has extensive experience and knowledge in the dairy industry. His parents involved him as a decision maker as a high school student. He learned how to artificially inseminate cows at age 15 and assumed responsibility for his family’s dairy reproductive program. He worked on a variety of dairies as an undergraduate student and served as the herdsman for the Western Kentucky University dairy farm for three years while working on his master’s degree in dairy science. He’s completed two dairy-focused externships during veterinary school. After graduation, Pike hopes to practice veterinary medicine in a dairy community and then return home to central Kentucky to start his own practice and dairy with his wife and her family.

Clayton Riedell attends Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in Ames, Iowa. He grew up on a farm in west-central Iowa with swine, dairy and beef operations and has had a wide range of experiences in the livestock industry. His father encouraged his involvement on the farm and once challenged him to fix a calf’s broken leg. Riedell made a cast using plaster gauze from his art teacher, which successfully healed the calf’s leg. While in veterinary school, he has worked for local veterinarians and assisted in research projects. Through externships the past two summers, he has focused on embryo transfer work. Following graduation, he plans to be involved in a food-animal veterinary practice andhopefully spend most of his time working with feedlots and cow-calf producers. He eventually hopes to be a partner in a veterinary practice and own his own herd of beef cattle.

—From Intervet news release

The 2010 student award winners are, left to right: Elizabeth Homerosky, The Ohio State University; Brian Hartschuh, The Ohio State University; Andy Pike, Auburn University; Elisha Adkins, Oregon State University; Clayton Riedell, Iowa State University; Katie (Konkol) Mrdutt, University of Minnesota; and Cassandra Peterson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Missing from photo is Ashley Cockrell, University of California – Davis. Photo courtesy of Intervet.