When students graduate with degrees in biology, eyeing careers in biomedical engineering and becoming doctors, veterinary science professionals in animal food science are trying to compete. Leaders in the field admit it takes an effort to turn young people on to becoming farm inspection professionals, and other agriculturally focused professions that demand heavy life-science training.
It opens up the spectrum of the competition for talent in free markets; sometimes the most fundamentally important roles in government are ignored, and need to turn students on. I am excited to play a role in helping people in the public and private sector search for the next generation of scientists, and turning them on to their profession.
The idea of experiencing animals on a daily basis just makes me smile. However, kids who only know the lab from school are likely to be interested, but may lack the mentorship to get them involved.
Simply the geographic equation, of attracting bright agricultural talent, is daunting. If your scientific society emanates from rural areas, venturing into big city campuses, say in Iowa and Oregon, takes energy. I am looking forward for students who have done research in animal sciences to post their work, and get excellent practitioners, featured in this article, contacting them and getting them excited about their field.
What is particularly interesting about the situation of animal science practitioners, is that leaders inside the profession want to allow smart people more flexibility in making career changes, if they enter. This enables smart grads to make inroads into an area, say agricultural research, and transition after a few years. One of the life-long benefits of receiving a degree in the life and physical sciences is the ability to travel the world to do good work.