An award to a Kansas State University veterinary medicine alumnus is helping two current veterinary students.
Tera Barnhardt, fourth-year veterinary medicine student, Satanta, and Aaron Schaffer, third-year veterinary medicine student, Fairbury, Ill., are each receiving $1,000 scholarships from the Academy of Veterinary Consultants.
The scholarship awards were made possible by a $2,000 donation that Zoetis, the global animal health company, made to the university’s College of Veterinary Medicine in honor of David Sjeklocha’s selection as the academy’s 2013 Consultant of the Year.
The Consultant of the Year award recognizes outstanding achievements in the beef cattle medicine. Sjeklocha, who earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Kansas State University, is staff veterinarian for Cattle Empire LLC in Satanta.
He and his wife requested that recipients of the scholarships be interested in pursuing a career in bovine veterinary medicine and that it go to veterinary students who are married — but not necessarily to each other.
Dave Rethorst, instructor of clinical sciences and director of outreach for the Beef Cattle Institute in the College of Veterinary Medicine, was a member of the scholarship recommendation committee that selected Barnhardt and Schaffer for the scholarships. Both students are active with the institute.
“Aaron and Tera are good students who are dedicated to bovine medicine and work really hard at what they do,” Rethorst said.
Barnhardt has wanted to be a veterinarian since she was young and working on her family’s farm and ranch. Her work with the Beef Cattle Institute and its director, Dan Thomson, Jones professor of epidemiology and production medicine and professor of clinical sciences, has solidified her interest in working with the beef industry.
After she graduates with her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in May, she will join a mixed animal practice in southwest Kansas.
“I am excited about getting my boots on the ground and serving a rural community in Kansas,” Barnhardt said. “There is a lot of opportunity to expand the cattle and feed-yard clientele at this practice and I am ready to get to work.”
Schaffer grew up on a dairy farm, which instilled his passion for livestock production and desire to remain active in the industry.
After graduation, he plans to gain experience by working in a mixed animal practice and eventually own a cow-calf consulting firm that focuses on preventative medicine.
“I have always enjoyed helping others and I felt that veterinary medicine would allow me to stay active in the livestock industry and feel fulfilled by helping others,” he said.
Schaffer said he very much appreciates receiving the scholarship.
“It is wonderful to feel the support of the veterinary profession and I hope that someday I can give back to the profession the same way that it has given to me,” he said.
Barnhardt said receiving the scholarship is special because Sjeklocha made it possible.
“Dr. Sjeklocha is someone I look up to and consider a mentor in my profession,” she said. “To be recognized is truly a special moment that I will always hold in high regard.”