We take pride in, and place a high priority on the training of tomorrow’s food animal veterinarians; about 40 percent of our assigned efforts are focused on the area of teaching.
Through a combination of classroom-based didactic instruction and on-farm clinical experiences, we expose veterinary students to current concepts in food animal health, management, and economics. The FAHM group works hard to provide quality classroom learning opportunities.
Master of Food Animal Medicine
A very important and still relatively new point of emphasis of teaching in the FAHM group is the Master of Food Animal Medicine (MFAM) program. This graduate program is a non-thesis degree program with the goal of training graduate veterinarians to play a more productive role in the management of the modern beef and dairy industry.
Students are instructed in the basic sciences involved in disease diagnostics, prevention, and therapy; basic epidemiologic principles for investigating disease outbreaks; the practical aspects of animal husbandry, including the structure and functioning of the beef and dairy industry and the interpretation of on-farm animal health records; and the planning, implementation and analysis of food animal research.
These objectives are accomplished by involving students in formal classroom teaching, laboratory teaching, routine clinical work, field investigations, departmental seminars, clinical rounds, regional seminars, special projects, and externships.
Clinical Teaching and Service
A large portion of the teaching is accomplished via on-farm clinical teaching and service to our “core clients.” These client herds provide routine clinical experiences including palpation for pregnancy, calf management, hoof care, and other herd health clinical opportunities.
Our clinical program is divided into primarily beef production medicine and dairy production medicine, but also includes swine production medicine.
Faculty members work with private and/or corporate farms as well as Department of Corrections facilities in Georgia to provide routine scheduled services and consultative herd visits.
Service work, including farm visits and consultative work, comprises about a third of the group’s assigned time commitment.
The Rose Creek Farm is a University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine resource that is located in Watkinsville, Georgia. This farm is home to our beef cattle herd and also supports a group of horses that are used for teaching purposes. The FAHM program is charged with the management of this valuable resource.
Income accounts for the clinical farm services and for Rose Creek Farm were created for the program, and the group has now become largely self-supporting, generating the funds required to operate the clinical, instructional, and farm programs.
Our FAHM group also performs field investigations of difficult-to-manage cases involving food animals in cooperation with local veterinary practitioners, veterinary diagnostic laboratories, extension personnel, and College of Agriculture personnel. These investigations are designed to help develop effective intervention and control measures to improve the total health management and financial success of Georgia’s livestock operations.
While teaching and service are the two mainstays of the FAHM program, research is also very important to each of the faculty members and accounts for the remaining 25 percent of the group’s assigned time commitment. Much of the group’s research effort is directed at applied work that will benefit the Georgia livestock industry, primarily in the areas of beef and dairy production medicine, but also includes important work in the area of poultry diseases.