Strategic Plan Alignment:

2016-2017 Texas 4-H Veterinary Science Camp Highlight

Dr. Meredyth Jones, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine Field Services, lends a helping hand to a 4-Her haltering a heifer.
Dr. Meredyth Jones, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine Field Services, lends a helping hand to a 4-Her haltering a heifer.

The Texas 4-H Veterinary Science Camp was expanded in 2017 to include two camps one taking place during the Texas 4-H Roundup on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station and the second being held on the campus of West Texas A&M University in Canyon. The expansion of the camps was made possible by the support of Cactus Feeders in Amarillo, Texas. We also want to thank the Texas Beef Council for their continued support in providing a beef dinner for the camp participants.

The Texas 4-H Veterinary Science Camp is offered to youth in order to prepare them for careers in veterinary science. This is accomplished by introducing 4-H youth to various aspects of the veterinary profession and giving participants the opportunity to learn from industry leaders at the Texas A&M University System including:

• Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences;

• Texas A&M University Department of Animal Science;

• Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory;

• Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Veterinary Medical Extension unit; and

• West Texas A&M University Agriculture Department.

Words the participants used to describe the camp experience include: informative, educational, influential, enlightening and engaging.

Throughout the camp, participants gained 33 of the 78 clinical skills necessary to fulfill the requirements for the Texas Veterinary Medical Association Certified Veterinary Assistant Level 1 certification process. The skills included bandaging the leg of a horse, haltering and restraining livestock, and identifying veterinary tools among others. With assistance from the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers and Texas Beef Council, each participant also received a certificate for completing the Beef Quality Assurance Program.


Participants were also given the opportunity to share open-ended comments about their experience at the camp. Some of the comments about how the camp helped the participated in choosing a future career included:

• It made me more excited to continue on and become a veterinarian.

• It showed me the different specialty areas to choose from in the veterinary program.

• The camp helped me choose a career by showing me the different types of things vets do.

• It introduced me to the variety of jobs in the vet science field.

• It helped me figure out that this is what I love to do and what I am good at

• The camp opened my eyes to different specialties of veterinary medicine

• It has opened new opportunities other than working with small animals. I can do research at a college to understand the animals more and create more efficient ideas.