Stu­dents get a head start

The Times (Northeast Benton County) - - FRONT PAGE - AN­NETTE BEARD abeard@nwadg.com

Ten­ta­tively reach­ing out to touch the half-blind bull, stu­dent Sarah Hen­der­son was be­gin­ning to re­al­ize her dream.

Hen­der­son was one of 10 Pea Ridge High School stu­dents who vis­ited Oak View An­i­mal Hos­pi­tal re­cently as a part of the Vet Sci­ence Class that is part of the Ca­reer and Tech­ni­cal program at PRHS. Teacher Perry Ma­son took the stu­dents on a field trip to learn more about vet­eri­nary sci­ence.

Vet­eri­nar­ian Dr. Karen Sher­man passed out in­for­ma­tion about pink eye then shared her knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence with the stu­dents.

“I am in vet sci­ence be­cause I am pas­sion­ate about an­i­mals,” Hen­der­son said. “Over the past cou­ple years, I have learned a lot in an­i­mal sci­ence. Vet sci­ence gives me the op­por­tu­nity to get out in the field and ac­tu­ally see those things in per­son.”

Hen­der­son said she plans to earn an agri­cul­ture busi­ness de­gree and would like to pur­sue a job in the an­i­mal in­dus­try. She said she would also like to dou­ble ma­jor in agri­cul­tural lead­er­ship.

“While at the vet clinic, I found it in­ter­est­ing how laid back the vet was about what she was do­ing. She was deal­ing with a very large an­i­mal, but was very re­laxed while do­ing so. I am used to work­ing with horses on the daily ba­sis, so I was able to learn a lot about pink eye in cows, some­thing I did not know a lot about be­fore,” Hen­der­son said.

“Be­ing in vet sci­ence will help me reach my goal of be­com­ing a vet tech and learn what type

of en­vi­ron­ment I will be work­ing in,” se­nior Makenna Hig­gins said. “After high school, I plan to at­tend the vet tech program at Crow­der (Col­lege in Noesho, Mo.) and be­come a reg­is­tered vet­eri­nary tech­ni­cian.”

On Thurs­day’s field trip, Hig­gins said: “I learned that dis­eases like pink eye could spread very eas­ily, pos­si­bly from flies that trans­fer from an­i­mal to an­i­mal like cat­tle. If your cat­tle do hap­pen to catch an in­fec­tion, med­i­ca­tions are a need to keep from spread­ing even fur­ther within any other an­i­mals. You need to be cau­tious when han­dling any type of huge or ag­gres­sive an­i­mal be­cause the job can be dan­ger­ous for you or the client.”

“Big thanks to Dr. Sher­man for the ex­pe­ri­ence. We would love to go back again!” Hig­gins said.

“I feel like this class is good for me,” ju­nior Jen­nell Smith said, “be­cause I love an­i­mals and I don’t know if I want to be a vet­eri­nar­ian, but it’s go­ing to be good for me be­cause I plan on hav­ing a few acres and some an­i­mals when I get older.”

Smith is in the in­dus­trial tech program in Pea Ridge Man­u­fac­tur­ing and Busi­ness Academy.

“I loved how we ac­tu­ally got to have con­tact with a live an­i­mal. I could tell that bull was very anx­ious just by the way he was act­ing,” she said. “I learned what pink eye looks like on a cow and I didn’t know that the lit­tle white ball on his eye could burst. I fig­ured cows could get over ill­nesses like hu­mans, but they are very dif­fer­ent and need more med­i­cal at­ten­tion.”

Ju­nior Leala Sor­rell said: “I am in vet sci­ence be­cause I have al­ways had a love for an­i­mals. I am in­ter­ested in be­com­ing a vet/ vet tech­ni­cian once I am out of col­lege, but I haven’t made up my mind. I’m hop­ing this class will show me if pur­su­ing a vet ca­reer is right for me, or if I would like to pur­sue a dif­fer­ent ca­reer path.”

“I loved get­ting to work with and ob­serve Dr. Sher­man,” Sor­rell said. “I work at the Pea Ridge Vet Clinic, but my po­si­tion is a ken­nel worker. I mostly get to work with cats and dogs, so I’m al­most never in the barn work­ing with large an­i­mals, such as horses and cows. It was very in­ter­est­ing to be up close and per­sonal with a bull that large, and he wasn’t even full grown!

“It was a lit­tle in­tim­i­dat­ing to see Dr. Sher­man han­dle a bull that big and pow­er­ful, but she han­dled it with such grace and ease. It was very im­pres­sive.”

•••

TIMES pho­to­graph by An­nette Beard

PRHS se­nior Sarah Hen­der­son said. “Vet sci­ence gives me the op­por­tu­nity to get out in the field and ac­tu­ally see those things in per­son.”

TIMES pho­to­graph by An­nette Beard

Dr. Karen Sher­man, vet­eri­nar­ian, and Perry Ma­son, ag teacher, hosted a class on vet­eri­nary sci­ence for PRHS stu­dents re­cently.

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