The college partnered with AMVC, an Audubon-based food production giant that introduced “birth to market” services under a single umbrella.
That allows ISU students access to state-of-the-art field service opportunities in everything from stud service and virology to packing and marketing.
ISU’s Dairy Production Immersive Knowledge Experience gives students 10-week, hands-on experiences on different-size farms (50 to 200 to 1,000 cows) and in a veterinary clinic in northeast Iowa.
Many vet schools focus on a single area of expertise. Iowa animal populations, and their health issues, are more diverse. Beef cattle, dairy cows, hogs, goats, sheep, chickens, turkeys, and horses are all essential parts of the state’s economy.
So the college faculty now includes 74 board-certified specialists in 17 different specialty services. They employ multiple disciplines and treat different species within their expertise.
Bagley notes that the Theriogenology Department (reproductive medicine) is working with Siberian tigers and has begun a new wolf project. There’s also an increased demand for deer semen.
“I like to say that we are licensed to treat all animals except one. Ironically, the medicine we practice is looking more and more like human medicine all the time,” observes Bagley.
The IT upgrades have particularly encouraged expansion of services in the VAL.
The college’s Diagnostics Laboratory is one of the just three in the country and checks out some 45,000 submissions a year, mostly bacterial and viral samples from eggs and sick creatures great and small.
Its Health Assurance Testing Services runs three shifts a day, working around the clock.
“We will be the first to see any new virus. That keeps our curriculum absolutely current. Tissues are sent to us via Fed Ex, and 24 hours later we have results,” explains Halbur.
Though so much changed while The Gentle Doctor was away, it’s likely he would recognize current trade hazards. When Bagley rolls up his sleeves, he recalls the history of his many scars. “This one was a German shepherd. This one was . . .”
In the large animal hospital, things are only technically different. “We get kicked and smashed, not bitten,” says livestock veterinarian Dr. Jim Thompson.“Yeah, we have broken bones rather than scars,” adds ruminant specialist Dr. Paul Plummer.
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