Veterinary Science is one of the nine Career Development Events that Buffalo, FFA has to offer. Even though the event has only been around for six years, it is one of the largest CDE events, and every year it continues to gain popularity. In fact, this year, Buffalo has the largest team it has ever had, with eight people making up the Veterinary Science team.
“I’ve been on the vet science team since freshman year,” junior Marissa Delacruz said. “I chose vet science because it ties into what I want to do after high school. This event has helped me learn how to recognize and distinguish tools, breeds, and parasites, which is crucial to becoming a veterinarian.”
The vet science team is composed of two returning members and six new members. During practice, the returners help the new members learn their questions as well as teach them tips and tricks on how to remember/identify things.
“I am excited about the team that we have this year,” ag teacher Mikaela Hall said. “Marissa Delacruz and Megan Wedhorn are our two returning members, while Ashley Thunderhawk, Dylan Cornish, Callie Harter, Sydney Lebel, Raeleigh Rhodes, and Jaden Meuse are our new members. I think that the newbies are learning a lot from the returners, and I am excited to see how we will be placing at upcoming contests.”
The vet science contest is the longest contest out of all of the CDE contests. During the contest students have to be able to do everything from identify a total of 75 items, take an exam, and do a math or hands on practicum.
“There is a lot of stuff that we have to learn for Vet Science, but for people like Marissa, Dylan, Callie, and I who plan on becoming veterinarians, it’s worth it,” junior Megan Wedhorn said. “During contest, we have to identify 25 animal breeds, ranging from dog breeds to livestock breeds, 25 tools, and 25 parasites/organs. We also have a 50 question exam, where the questions are selected randomly from the 285 questions we study. There is also a practicum, but we haven’t worked on those yet.”
This year the team has already competed in a handful of invitational contests. At these contests, the team competed against 40 something teams, which totals to about 200 individuals. The team results, as well as the individual results, improve at each contest.
“The contests are really long and really quiet,” junior Dylan Cornish said. “There are so many people, and that makes trying to squeeze my way in to see what I have to identify, really difficult. Even though I now have some contests under my belt, I still get nervous, but I think I’m improving more and more each time.”
Both Delacruz and Wedhorn agree that having people on the team who already know and understand the event is great. However, the two of them can agree with their coach, that having new people who have the potential to do well, learn and enjoy the event is equally as great. If everyone keeps studying, the team could achieve their goal of advancing to state.
“I would love for vet science to advance to state like they did my first year teaching here,” Hall said. “Advancing to state is a great accomplishment, and it will take drive and determination in order to be one of the top five teams that advances. I believe that if the students on the vet science team continue to study and improve, that they have a good chance to advance to state.”