Born and bred on a sheep (Romney stud) and beef farm in the rural town of Taihape, Animal and Plant Health NZ veterinary scholarship winner Sarah Fannin only imagines a future within the primary industries. Her family have farmed for over a century, fuelling her passion to be a production animal vet.
The third-year veterinary science student at Massey University says her goal is to work alongside farmers. “I’m interested in the overall health of the herd,” she says. The appeal of the outdoors and every day being different also have merits.
If being a vet wasn’t on the cards, Fannin would aim for another vocation in agriculture. “I come from a small town, and I’ve always seen myself coming back to a small town. I’m drawn by the community spirit.”
The 22 year-old says the $2,500 win will “limit my financial stress” and will go towards paying off her student loan – as she can only work in weekends or during her semester breaks at the Brown Sugar Café in her home town. “Every spare moment, I’m studying or working,” she says. Paid employment will become more difficult due to her study workload, including having to complete veterinary placements around the country.
Fannin is dedicated to helping others, especially the disadvantaged. At Feilding High School, she helped junior students with their homework and dyslexic students with their reading. As part of the World Challenge Programme, she went to Costa Rica to help develop conservation and sustainability practices at a coffee plantation and to Nicaragua to help underprivileged children build the foundations for a library.
Animal and Plant Health NZ Chief Executive, Mark Ross, says the association is pleased to contribute towards the future of someone so dedicated to following her dream of becoming a vet.
“We were impressed with Sarah’s work ethic, her compassion, resilience and commitment to animal welfare,” Ross says.
Animal and Plant Health NZ offers two scholarships a year to support education and raise awareness of careers in related industries.
The scholarships are an example of industry initiatives led by Animal and Plant Health NZ to provide safe and sustainable animal health and crop protection technology and educate the community about the industry’s contribution.
About Animal and Plant Health NZ
Animal and Plant Health NZ represents the New Zealand animal health and crop protection industries as well as rural retailers.
The industry association promotes the benefits of safe, effective, quality products and services for the health of animals (including pet care) and crops. Its members are committed to the responsible use of products from research to disposal.
The association was formerly called Agcarm.
For more information, contact: Mark Ross, Chief Executive: 027 442 9965