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Food Animal Scholars

We encourage outstanding undergraduate students desiring a veterinary career in food animal agriculture to apply to become a Food Animal Scholar.

Food animal vet checking on calves on farm

Program Objectives

  • Provide a clear academic pathway for students desiring a veterinary career in food animal agriculture.
  • Provide admission to the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) for a maximum of six Food Animal Scholars each year provided they meet minimum standards for acceptance (as established by the admissions committee).
  • Devise a plan of academic work, experience, and mentoring for Food Animal Scholars that encompasses undergraduate and veterinary medical education and meets specific needs of animal agriculture.
  • Provide a continuous supply of new veterinary graduates with skills, experience, and expertise with food animal species comparable to a DVM with one year of clinical experience. These new graduates will immediately be able to provide valuable service to modern animal agriculture and will be mentally prepared to continually grow and improve as scientific health professionals.
  • Continually promote and increase the visibility of the Food Animal Scholars and the program.

Examples of Professional Veterinary Service to Animal Agriculture

  • Private food animal practitioners
  • Mixed animal private practitioners (with at least half of the practice being with food animals/animal agriculture)
  • Veterinarians working in corporate agribusiness
  • Technical service veterinarians working with animal health industries
  • Pathologists working in diagnostic laboratories
  • Food animal veterinarians on university faculties
  • Veterinarians in public practice such as veterinary medical officers employed by state or federal governments

Definitions

The “Food Animal Scholars Pool” refers to the undergraduates admitted to the College of Veterinary Medicine following completion of their undergraduate degree (if they have met the criteria outlined below and have remained in the pool). Two pools will exist during the spring semester:

  1. Students entering the CVM that the calendar year
  2. Students entering the CVM the next calendar year (which is the pool of students selected from the November applications immediately preceding the spring semester).

“CVM Food Animal Scholars” refers to the students admitted to the College of Veterinary Medicine from the Food Animal Scholars pool.

Application Deadline

Students planning to enter CVM in fall 2023 must apply for the Food Animal Scholars program by November 4, 2021 at 4:30 pm.

Process

The committee selects up to six students and two alternates each year for the Food Animal Scholars pool. Eligible students are those majoring in animal science or poultry science who will complete their B.S. degree two or three full semesters following the time of application (summer school does not count). These students are normally considered first-semester juniors, but double-majors or transfer students who still have two or three full semesters remaining and are classified as upperclassmen are also eligible. Students in an accelerated undergraduate program are eligible to apply in the fall when they have 2 or 3 full semesters remaining. Students should meet the minimum academic standards for entry to the College of Veterinary Medicine for coursework completed to date at the time of application. Applications will be reviewed after completion of the fall semester and applicants will be evaluated relative to meeting the minimum academic standards for entry to the CVM at this time.

Each year, we give preference to at least one swine-focused scholar and at least one poultry-focused scholar. Beyond this, there is no overall species or departmental quota for Food Animal Scholars Pool membership.

The goal is to create Food Animal Scholars pools composed of excellent students with a sincere interest in animal agriculture while offering them the flexibility to explore their career options. Up to six students from the Food Animal Scholars pool will be admitted to the appropriate class entering the CVM after completing all requirements and standards. If the pool does not contain six qualified students, we will admit fewer students. Once accepted, a student will be designated as a “CVM Food Animal Scholar” for the year of graduation from the CVM.

The steering and mentoring committee is composed of faculty members from NC State University’s Department of Animal Science (CALS), Prestage Department of Poultry Science (CALS), and the Department of Population Health and Pathobiology (CVM); and one faculty member from North Carolina A&T State University. They will review and select the members of each year’s pool.

Each student selected to join the Food Animal Scholars Pool will be assigned two faculty mentors, one from either the Department of Animal Science or Prestage Department of Poultry Science and one from the Department of Population Health and Pathobiology. The faculty mentors will advise the students, monitor their progress and commitment, and facilitate additional training opportunities such as summer jobs. Faculty mentors may be (but are not required to be) members of the steering and mentoring committee. The mentor from the student’s undergraduate department may or may not be the same person as the student’s undergraduate advisor. The undergraduate faculty co-chair of the steering and mentoring committee assigns the undergraduate mentor, and the committee co-chair from the CVM assigns the CVM mentor. This happens early in the spring semester during the academic year the student is admitted to the Food Animal Scholars Pool.

During his or her education, each student in the Food Animal Scholars Pool should demonstrate a clear interest in animal agriculture. Undergraduate students will complete at least one food animal management/production course as part of their curriculum. Students will also complete a summer internship working in a food animal production or research setting as approved by the student’s mentor. The internship (or a combination of two or more internships) must be a minimum of 240 hours to fulfill the Food Animal Scholar internship requirement.

Members of the existing pool will be re-evaluated at the end of each semester, and the steering committee will make membership changes if necessary. In addition, students in each Scholars Pool who do not meet minimum academic standards for entry to the College of Veterinary Medicine (for N.C. residents, this is currently 3.3 GPA last 45 semester hours, 3.0 GPA overall, and 3.3 GPA in the required courses with a C-minus or better in each required course; for non-residents, it is 3.4 in all three categories with a C-minus or better in each required course), are not making progress toward completion of a degree, or who do not continue to demonstrate a sincere interest in supporting animal agriculture may be replaced with alternates or other suitable students (by application) who are at the same stage of their training.

Completion of the degree the student is pursuing is required for entry into the College of Veterinary Medicine under the Food Animal Scholars Program, and students are expected to have an approved Plan of Study showing how this will be accomplished. In some cases, it may be necessary to have one or two courses from the College of Veterinary Medicine transfer back to complete an undergraduate degree, which is acceptable if it is part of the approved Plan of Study. Students in the pool must apply to the College of Veterinary Medicine and meet the minimum admission criteria.

Each CVM Food Animal Scholar beginning the DVM curriculum will be required to enroll in a Food Animal Focus Area and to submit a formal plan of study for their four-year DVM curriculum under the supervision of their faculty Mentors. This plan will specify Selectives, Electives, summer work experiences, externships, special projects, and Senior Rotations.

CVM Food Animal Scholars (who are in the DVM curriculum) will lose the Food Animal Scholars designation if, in the judgment of the steering committee, they do not demonstrate a sincere interest in professional service to animal agriculture. In such a case, students should repay any student loans made on the basis of CVM Food Animal Scholar status.

Students who complete their DVM degree as Food Animal Scholars will have received the benefit provided by years of mentoring, opportunities, and experiences provided by the Food Animal Scholars Program.

2022-2023 Mentoring Committee

Committee Co-Chairs

Committee Members

NameDepartmentUniversity
Dr. Kevin L. AndersonDepartment of Population Health and PathobiologyCVM at N.C. State
Dr. C. Sean ChenPrestage Department of Poultry ScienceCALS at N.C. State
Dr. Billy L. FlowersDepartment of Animal ScienceCALS at N.C. State
Dr. Derek M. FosterDepartment of Population Health and PathobiologyCVM at N.C. State
Dr. Isabel M. GimenoDepartment of Population Health and PathobiologyCVM at N.C. State
Dr. Jennifer HalleranDepartment of Population Health and PathobiologyCVM at N.C. State
Dr. Sung Woo KimDepartment of Animal ScienceCALS at N.C. State
Dr. Ramon MalheirosPrestage Department of Poultry ScienceCALS at N.C. State
Dr. Radiah C. MinorDepartment of Animal ScienceCollege of Agricultural and Environmental Science at N.C. A&T
Dr. Carrie PickworthDepartment of Animal ScienceCALS at N.C. State
Dr. Andrew WeaverDepartment of Animal ScienceCALS at N.C. State

Ex Officio

  • Jeff Huckel, CVM Dean’s Office, Director of Student Services
  • cc: Dr. Laura Nelson, Associate Dean and Director of Academic Programs, CVM