It’s been at least four or five years since I’ve been up to the vet school at
Faces at the vet school
|Jan Shearer, DVM, MS and Pat Gorden, DVM, gave me a tour of the new ISU dairy|
There’s no doubt, my alma mater is an AG SCHOOL. And I am tickled pink to see all of the new additions to the existing stellar food animal faculty at the veterinary college. I spent two days this week of unseasonably cool July weather and had the chance to visit with Drs. Jesse Goff, Don Draper, Danelle Bickett-Weddle, Jim Roth, Scott Hurd (out at the Story County Fair where his kids were showing horses, no less), Jan Shearer, Pat Gorden, Paul Plummer, Kelly Still, Suzanne Millman (associate professor of animal welfare – stay tuned for information on what’s going on in that arena), Jim McKean, ISU vet college dean John Thomson and vet school communications guru Tracy Raef. I missed a few, notably Terry Engelken, new hire Grant Dewell and Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine Chair Pat Halbur (whom I am told is responsible for much of this food animal growth) who were out, but I think I did pretty well considering my short time there!
|Calan Gate electronic feeders for research trials can be lifted up and out of the way when not in use.|
I had two highlights of the visit (well, aside from watching Hurd’s kids ride their horses at the county fair and actually trying for the first time a deep-fried Snickers) – Plummer’s tour of the new Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center facilities, which include some awesome and sophisticated food animal facilities, and a tour with Gorden and Shearer of the new ISU dairy farm (see slide show). The dairy is an awesome facility milking approximately 350 cows the six dairy breeds, Holstein, Jersey, Brown Swiss, Ayrshire, Milking Shorthorn, and Guernsey), and it is open 24/7 to visitors – it is a wonderfully transparent example of a modern dairy facility.
What’s so great about the dairy is that it is as close to a real dairy situation as veterinary students can get without going out to a commercial dairy. Cows are calved, calves are raised, heifers are bred and become part of the milking herd in a double-12 parlor. In addition, the research capabilities are endless from the feeding trials using Calan Gate electronic feeding stations (that lift up and out of the way when not in use), sophisticated milking data recorders, electronic sort gates, pain studies with calves for dehorning/castration, wireless internet and video camera abilities and more.
|Baby calves are raised indoors in individual hutches that incude individual ventilation systems to keep air moving.|