UW School of Veterinary Medicine Students Awarded Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research Fellowships

cow in grass pasture

Earlier this month, the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) and the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) announced 13 recipients of the 2022 Veterinary Student Research Fellowships (FFAR Vet Fellows). Kailey Wichman and Madeline Zutz of the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Veterinary Medicine are among the awardees.

This unique fellowship creates opportunities for veterinary students around the world to conduct research to advance global food security, sustainable animal production and environmental sustainability.

Wichman is using in-vitro assays, a technique to analyze a substance’s composition or quality, to determine drug resistance in ruminant parasites. Wichman will connect her research results with the genetic analysis of Haemonchus contortus to verify there is a genetic cause for the resistance.

Zutz is studying timed artificial insemination of dairy heifers. This common tool is used to optimize synchrony of heifers’ reproductive cycle, thereby enhancing the likelihood and efficiency of attaining pregnancies. Farmers currently use costly, labor-intensive hormone-infused intravaginal implants to achieve synchrony. Previous research shows that using a combination of only two intramuscular injectable hormones can provide similar pregnancy results with less cost and labor. Zutz is investigating how many days apart the injectable hormones should be administered to be most effective for attaining dairy heifer pregnancies.

Veterinarians trained in animal science and public health are key to addressing many global challenges within the veterinary and agricultural fields. The FFAR Vet Fellows program enables veterinary students to pursue research outside of the biomedical sciences and gain experiential learning opportunities with a qualified mentor. This fellowship culminates with student presentations at the annual Veterinary Scholars Symposium.

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