IDOA and U of I Vet Med Team Up for 2015 Illinois State Fair

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 SPRINGFIELD – Veterinary Medicine students from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will work alongside college faculty and the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) to provide care for Illinois State Fair animals.

The Illinois State Fair showcases thousands of animals each year from beef cattle to poultry. Last year's fair reported a total of 12,110 animals exhibited. All animals that enter the fairgrounds are required to have a certificate of veterinary inspection. Both animal and certification are checked by a veterinarian or trained IDOA staff upon entry.

Veterinary staff check animals for illness and disease around the clock during the festivities. Students will also be participating in these duties this year.

“This is a great opportunity for the Department as well as the students from the U of I. Large animal veterinarians are critical to the livestock industry. There has been a decline over the years in this field, and this partnership serves as a way to give students another practical experience,” said Agriculture Director Philip Nelson.

Veterinarians from the university will supervise students as they work on-site at the fairgrounds throughout the event. The College of Veterinary Medicine offers the state's only Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree program, and the university's teaching hospital allows students to specialize in a variety of fields. These include fields ranging from zoo medicine to investigations leading to advances in animal health.

Faculty member Dr. Jim Lowe explains the university is recognized for its curriculum that gives students a more hands-on approach to practicing their craft.

“This partnership with IDOA gives students interested in production medicine a fantastic opportunity to put their skills and knowledge into action,” Lowe says.
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