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4-H Members Learn Opportunities in Veterinary Medicine

4-H Members practice injections on oranges

4-H Veterinary Camp

Last week 25 Seminole County 4-H members toured veterinary hospitals, learned about the admissions requirements to veterinary school, and participated in hand on learning labs. These learning activities were a part of the 2018 Seminole County 4-H Veterinary Science Camp through the UF/IFAS Extension Seminole County office. In May, over 40 youth between the ages of 13-18 interviewed for a position in this specialty camp conducted by UF/IFAS Extension Seminole County 4-H Agent Chelsea Woodard.

Exploring Career Options

Each day campers learned about a different focus area in veterinary medicine including small animals, equine, livestock, and exotics. On the first day of camp youth learned about the anatomy and physiology of the horse with Florida 4-H Regional Specialized Agent Shane Michael at the Crossroads Corral. Youth also had the chance to hear about the opportunities and challenges associated with working as an equine veterinarian from Dr. Lane Adams-Torres of the Central Florida Equine Hospital. Additionally, youth learned about common parasites that affect animals, zoonotic diseases, and performed fecal floats.

The following day of camp, 4-H members toured the Central Florida Zoo where they learned how zoo keepers care for exotic animals. Seminole County 4-H members got a sneak peek behind the scenes of the Central Florida Zoo’s bear exhibit to see how zoo keepers have trained the bears to receive medical attention with minimal contact. Youth also spoke with the Central Florida Zoo’s Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Bogan. In the afternoon, youth had the opportunity to hear from Seminole County Government’s Program Director of Greenways and Natural Lands, Jim Duby. Youth learned about exotics, different housing and nutrition supplies needed for small exotics and permit requirements.

4-H Members learn about Shelter Medicine at Seminole County Animal Services 

Wednesday, youth spent the morning rotating through the Lake Jesup Animal Hospital where Dr. Ed Griffith and his staff showed 4-H members how customers and animals are cared for in a small animal practice. Youth learned about various types of x-rays, examination procedures, and common vaccinations for dogs and cats. In the afternoon, youth toured the Seminole County Animals Services buildings and heard from Dr. Morris about shelter medicine. Additionally, 4-H members participated in a hands on learning lab suturing bananas.

4-H Members view the equine treadmill at UF’s College of Veterinary Medicine

The next day of camp 4-H members spent the day with Dr. Amanda House from the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine. 4-H members toured the small and large animal hospitals on campus, learned about common pharmacology practices with animals, heard from current veterinary students about their experiences, and spoke directly with the college’s recruitment specialist about admissions requirements.

On the final day of camp, 4-H members learned about best management practices with livestock. Youth also heard from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Animal Industry about the importance of monitoring diseases in livestock and the prevention of diseases in our food production animals. Youth spent the late morning participating in an injections learning lab. In the afternoon, youth heard from UF/IFAS Extension Agent JK Yarborough about common livestock health practices on the Yarborough Ranch and from senior 4-H member Emily Lightner about breeding and managing the health of her show pigs.

UF/IFAS Extension Agent JK Yarborough explains how to safely operate a squeeze chut

4-H members gained a great experience from this camp.

“I discovered with this camp my love for exotics”, Kimberly- 4-H camper.

“Learning about preventative medicine and keeping diseases from spreading was a huge insight that I never looked into”, – 4-H camper.

“Before this camp I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to go to college for but now I have a better idea of not only what I want to do but how I can accomplish it”– Katie- 4-H camper.

A very special thanks to our sponsors: Walmart, Florida Farm Bureau, and Winter Springs Veterinary Clinic.

Additionally a big thank you to all of our partners: Seminole County Government, Seminole County Animal Services, the Central Florida Zoo, Crossroads Corral, The Florida Department of Agriculture, Seminole County Health Department, Jett Printworks, Lake Jesup Animal Hospital, The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, Yarborough Ranch, and Lightner Show Pigs.

2018 Seminole County 4-H Veterinary Science Camp

4-H is a youth education program which provides youth ages 5-18 the opportunity to learn life skills while exploring projects such as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), leadership, healthy living, and citizenship/leadership. You can become a member of 4-H by joining a Community 4-H Club, participating in a short term Special Interest Program, participating as an independent member or by being part of a 4-H School Enrichment Classroom Project. Additional educational programming focused on veterinary medicine will be provided this coming 4-H year starting in August. For more information regarding 4-H opportunities please contact Chelsea Woodard or Karen Henry  



One Comment on “4-H Members Learn Opportunities in Veterinary Medicine

  1. Hi,
    My name is Barbie. My 15 year old niece wants to be a veterinarian and I just came across this camp. Can you send me some info for us to look into this next year?