Age: 22 Hometown: Moorcroft, Wyo.
Gray, who’s worked as a ranch hand on her family operation since her freshman year in high school, will be graduating May 11 from the University of Wyoming with a degree in Animal and Veterinary Sciences, then going to Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
She interned at Animal Medical Center Veterinary Clinic in Gillette Wyoming for the past three summers.
When she was in high school, she participated in the Whitcomb FFA Chapter all four years, holding four offices, including parliamentarian, treasurer, vice president and president.
She also participated in many Career Development Events, including agronomy, with her team placing first at state her sophomore year and competing in the national agronomy contest in Indianapolis. Gray was also a member of the range judging team that won state her junior year and competed at the national level in Oklahoma City.
Q: What is your background in agriculture, and how did you become interested in becoming a veterinarian?
A: Living and working on a cow/calf operation, I know the importance of having a working relationship with your veterinarian.
As producers, there were some rough times that we went through and we were in constant communication with our veterinarian.
That relationship helped us in solving the problem.
Having a good working relationship with our veterinarian really saved us at times and I want to help other producers in the same way.
It is my goal to be the veterinarian that helps people prevent their animals from getting sick.
But if they do, I will be the veterinarian that works with them until the problem is solved and the operation is running smoothly again.
Q: How do you see yourself using your veterinarian degree in the future?
A: After receiving my DVM, I plan on coming back to Wyoming and participating in the loan repayment program.
I will work in an area in Wyoming where food animal veterinarians are limited and I plan on providing quality veterinary care to producers and small animal pet owners alike.
Q: What are you most proud of thus far in your education and pursuit of your career?
A: At this point in time, I can honestly say I am proud that I even got accepted into vet school.
I know the next four years are going to be very busy, but I am really excited about the opportunity to expand my education.
Q: From the time you started your veterinarian education until now, how has your perspective on the veterinarian profession and animal medicine changed?
A: The real perspective changer has been in my internship with the Animal Medical Center.
I was involved with everything from answering the phones, checking patients in and out of the clinic, working with small animals and assisting with large animals.
Being behind the counter and answering the phones and answering peoples questions has really opened my eyes to what being a veterinarian is all about.
Yes, the purpose behind a veterinarian is to make sick animals well.
However, it also involves helping the people that own the animal.
This includes helping the family with three small children getting their new puppy vaccinated to the senior citizen who has no one left but their pet, and they want you to do everything you can to save them.
This also applies to producers, for example, who are having major problems with abortion and their whole lifestyle is based on the new calf, lamb or piglet crop.
Readers digest version: Basically my perspective of the veterinarian world has changed from being the veterinarian that serves animals, to being the veterinarian that serves the people whose lives are affected by the animals they own.
Q: What is are the most interesting thing you’ve learned during your education?
A: Honestly, I am a nerd.
I really enjoy learning about the physiology, biochemistry and biology behind why animals function the way they do.
Needless to say my entire education at the University of Wyoming has been interesting.
Q: What do you believe are the biggest challenges for veterinarians in the future?
A: Finding different ways to effectively solve problems for the producer without them costing an arm and a leg.
Q: What do you think will be some of the biggest changes for veterinarian industry 25 years from now?
A: Technology keeps changing and improving and I think that in 25 years the veterinary industry could have some new tools that hopefully improve diagnostics and treatment options. ❖