Career in Farming/Livestock veterinary care

Spiro, OK(Zone 7a)

I read the thread "Farming, a job not to be pursued", but I have a more specific inquiry. This month will be one year since I moved to my MIL's farm. Since then, we have had a market garden (without much success - the drought and inexperience killed us), laying chickens, a couple of pigs and a handful of cattle. It is the hardest, most rewarding work I've ever done. I'm considering going to school for either animal science and/or agronomy as I wish to learn both. This would be a two year degree (though I already have an A.A.). Then, I'd want to go into veterinary science to become a livestock vet. While I know that the returns on small-farm crops aren't great, I think cattle could be a little more profitable, and if I could supplement that with providing veterinary care in my area, I'm wondering if I could make a living at this? I had no idea I was a farmer at heart until I moved here. I love the animals, love the sweat, love everything about it (even mucking out the barn and coop!).

My other possible route is in Occupational Therapy which I know has a huge demand, and sizeable salary, but I'm not sure I'll love it, and it would mean moving pretty far from the farm. I'd have to sell off all of the animals to attend school. (I may have to anyway once I move on to Vet school).

Anyway, I'd just like your take on this.

Eileen

Richmond, TX

I can't speak for other schools but I know that it is very difficult to get into Texas A&M vet school. You would need to be very serious to go that route - as well as having a great scholastic record. Quite a lot of vets start out planning to have a farm practice but due to the hours (24/7) and the pay, end up in small animals. There are, however, scholarships available to students willing to commit themselves to a specific rural practice for a pre-determined number of years upon graduation.

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