Associate Deputy Administrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) Animal Care (AC) program Dr. Andrea (Andy) Morgan with her horse, Belle. While on a road trip with her parents as a young child, Dr. Morgan saw horses in Louisville and Lexington, KY and realized that she wanted to be a veterinarian.
In any large organization, it can be easy to overlook the contributions of individuals, each with unique stories and perspective. With this in mind, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) was proud to mark the 250th anniversary of the veterinary profession by offering a series of weekly blogs showcasing a different APHIS veterinarian each Thursday. Written in first person, the “world veterinary year” blogs share career paths – from dream to reality – and put a face on the sometimes overlooked aspects of ‘on-the-ground’ USDA employees. It is this creative use of social media to effectively showcase the rich personality of our workforce that makes this series our number 4 favorite new media moment. Read more »
World Veterinary Year, celebrating the 250th anniversary of the veterinary profession, culminated in the 30th World Veterinary Congress Closing Ceremony in Cape Town, South Africa in October. This year of recognition provided the opportunity to share the many contributions veterinarians have made in communities around the globe. There is much to celebrate. Over the last century, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and our animal health partners have made great strides in the control and eradication of animal diseases in the United States, diseases like brucellosis and tuberculosis. Worldwide, we applaud the milestone reached with the stamping out of the deadly cattle disease, rinderpest, also known as cattle plague.
APHIS employs more than 700 veterinarians, many engaged in such disease eradication work. Over the past months, we have featured 25 APHIS veterinarians in this blog space. To share more of the vital work our veterinarians do, we’ve also created a video, soon to be available on our YouTube channel. Read more »
Hello, I’m Dr. Karen James-Preston. I’m work for USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, or APHIS, as Director of the Veterinary Services’ National Center for Import and Export, Animal Products. My staff and I work every day to make sure animal products are safely imported into the United States. We also work to facilitate the export of animal products to other countries. My job is fulfilling because I’m part of the team that’s protecting the domestic livestock and poultry population from disease, as well as helping our agriculture industry move products abroad.
My path to becoming a veterinarian was non-traditional, to say the least. My undergraduate degree is actually in Art Education. Even though my plan for college was math, I somehow ended up in the art department. While I was at Howard University, I got my first pet, a toy poodle named Oatmeal. After a while, my friends asked why I didn’t want to become a veterinarian… and I didn’t have a good answer. Now I wasn’t a great artist, so I decided to pursue a veterinary career. I needed additional science courses to get into vet school, but luckily I was able to take those classes at University of Maryland and get into the vet school at Tuskegee, Alabama. Read more »
Hello, I’m Dr. Terry Morris, a veterinarian with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Veterinary Regulatory Support (VRS) staff, where I’m currently the acting Assistant Director. I’m responsible for managing VRS’ 17 Agriculture Quarantine Inspection Veterinary Medical Officers that are strategically located throughout the United States, including ensuring that they have all of the necessary knowledge, equipment, supplies, and regulatory support necessary to effectively safeguard the U.S. from foreign plant and animal diseases at the local level. I’ve been with USDA APHIS since 2001. I started out in USDA’s Veterinary Services National Center for Import and Export program and then came over to the VRS staff in 2007.
How did I choose to become a veterinarian? When I was in sixth grade, my dog died and my family was unable to afford any expenses associated with determining the cause of death. I wanted to know why my dog died. I took it upon myself to become a veterinarian, both to learn why and so that I could prevent other people’s pets from dying. Read more »
Hello, I’m Dr. David Dargatz. I work as an epidemiologist and beef cattle specialist for USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health in Fort Collins, Colorado. My work includes coordinating/conducting national studies of health and management practices on beef cattle operations as part of the National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS). I’ve been with APHIS since 1988. In the past, I’ve also worked on NAHMS dairy and swine studies.
Like many other veterinarians, I became interested in veterinary medicine from exposure to the local practitioners in my home town. My family had horses and needed the services of a veterinarian from time to time. The two practitioners in the local clinic encouraged me to ride with them on calls and spend some time in the clinic to see what veterinary practice was like. By the time I was halfway through high school, I knew this was the profession for me – it allowed me to combine my interests in horses and other livestock, science, and being outdoors. Read more »
Hello, I am Dr. Rosslyn Biggs. I am a Field Veterinary Medical Officer (VMO) with USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Veterinary Services stationed in southwest Oklahoma.
My mother was also a veterinarian, so I was exposed to the profession at an early age. She later worked as a VMO for USDA APHIS VS as well. I always had an interest in veterinary medicine as a career because I liked the combination of animals and problem solving. After veterinary school, I worked in a mixed animal practice for approximately three years before joining the staff at APHIS in the spring of 2007. Read more »