I started volunteering at Pearson’s Town Farm when I was a junior at Saint Joseph’s College. Since I am majoring in the pre-veterinary program, I was very interested when offered hands-on experience in the field.
I discovered my passion for large animals at Pearson’s Town Farm, and this developed my drive to become a large animal veterinarian. I started working with the animals by trimming hooves and shearing sheep. Michial, the farmer, taught me how to do sub-Q injections on the sheep, goats, and the llama to help de-worm the animals. During spring break, I was able to spend the week on the farm waiting for the sheep to lamb. One ewe, about two weeks before her due date, had to be treated for vaginal prolapse. Because it was so close to lambing, she was a special case to look after. After the ewe’s three-day labor, the farmer allowed me to assist the ewe in her birth. I reached up the birth canal, found the hooves of the lamb, and slowly pulled the lamb out. The lamb survived and is now one of the farm’s stud rams. Soon after this experience, the farm received three orphan lambs from a neighboring farm. Their mothers developed mastitis and could not take care of their lambs. I was given the opportunity to mother the three lambs, and they spent six weeks within my care. I had the responsibilities of bottle-feeding every few hours, changing blankets, and making sure they were both healthy and happy.
At Pearson’s Town Farm, I learned valuable hands-on veterinary skills to augment my undergraduate work. Hands-on experience is vital to any medical field, and being able to have opportunities exist in the undergraduate program makes Saint Joseph’s a more competitive school. Because of the information learned at the farm, I am going to graduate school knowing information that is key to my success in the field.