May 07, 2021 12:00 PM

ATTENTION, PLEASE SHARE WIDELY: beginning Wednesday, May 5, the MSU Small Animal Emergency Service will only be able to admit patients that our clinicians consider unstable or to have a life-threatening condition. Please visit the Hospital's website for more information: http://spr.ly/6188HCNNY

Posted April 14, 2021
Featuring Ángel Abuelo, Annette O'Connor

Partner Organizations

MSU will work together with its partner organizations to offer participants valuable internship experiences.

  • Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Michigan Milk Producers Association
  • Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
  • CentralStar Cooperative
  • Boehringer Ingelheim
  • Merck Animal Health
  • Arm and Hammer Animal Nutrition
  • Zoetis
  • Herbrucks Poultry Ranch
  • United Dairy Industry of Michigan

A USDA Research and Extension Experiences for Undergraduates grant submitted by Dr. Ángel Abuelo, assistant professor of Cattle Health and Wellbeing for the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, was ranked as “outstanding” by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and will be funded later this year.

“This grant will enable us to support and expand our already-successful Food Systems Fellowship Program,” says Abuelo, who also directs the Program. “We’ll provide 50 pre-clinical students with first-hand experience in food supply veterinary medicine research and extension in academia-, government-, and industry-based summer internships.”

Participants in the Food Systems Fellowship Program intern for 13 weeks during the summers in a wide variety of settings including offices, laboratories, and farms, where they focus on animal nutrition, growth, and lactation; welfare and wellbeing of agriculture animals; and diseases of agriculture animals including issues in infectious diseases, immunology, and biosecurity.

“The willingness of mentors from the MSU Departments of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Pathobiology and Diagnostic Investigation, Animal Science, and MSU Extension, as well as our industry partners, to participate in this Program underscores their commitment to the future of food animal agriculture and the need to train well-qualified veterinarians to work in the food supply industry,” says Abuelo, who emphasizes that the Program’s success depends upon its stakeholder support.

“The Food Systems Fellowship Program is a great opportunity for students with technical and leadership skills to learn more about the agricultural workforce that they intend to enter,” continues Dr. Annette O’Connor, chairperson for the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences and professor of Epidemiology. “It also helps recruit and train more food animal veterinary professionals, of which the US is in short supply. We’re also able to include more veterinary students from underrepresented groups. The veterinary profession is the least-diverse healthcare profession, and this grant will contribute to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion goals of the College’s 2021-26 Strategic Plan.”

For more information about MSU’s Food Systems Fellowship Program, visit the Program webpage.