Before coming to the University of Delaware, Kaitlyn Lutz had never worked on a dairy farm. Now, as she finishes up her work as a veterinary resident at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center, she is considering a clinical and consulting career, helping farmers with animal health needs and nutrient management planning.
Lutz has been in the residency program at the New Bolton Center in nearby Kennett Square, Pa., since 2012. She has worked in the field service section, mostly with livestock, a passion that originated when she was a UD undergraduate in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) studying in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences (ANFS).
Lutz explained that as an undergraduate, she traveled with Robert Dyer, associate professor of animals and food sciences to dairy farms to conduct research on lameness and realized that she wanted to work with livestock. “Prior to that trip I was planning to work with horses, but then Dr. Dyer basically started my interest in livestock,” said Lutz.
As a field service resident at New Bolton Center, Lutz explained that her days consist of taking students on rounds, covering various veterinary topics in the morning, then traveling to dairy farms. At the farms, she treats sick livestock and does general herd work, such as performing pregnancy checks.
“We also do small ruminant work, so often times we go and inspect sheep and goats in the afternoon or do small beef herds,” said Lutz. “So we kind of have a variety of things other than our weekly routine where we go to dairies, and all the time we have students with us who we’re teaching along the way.”
As for her favorite part of the residency, Lutz said that she relishes the opportunity to meet and talk with farmers. “Interacting with farmers, I learn a ton every day because they’re incredibly smart people. They have their hands in business and agriculture and economics, all at the same time, so you can learn a wealth of information from them.”
When it comes to doling out advice to current students at UD interested in veterinary medicine, Lutz said that it is imperative to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by CANR.
“There are so many clubs at Delaware and so many professors who are veterinarians or who have access to veterinarians that they can go shadow. They can go and get experience out on the farms or in small animal clinics and see what they’re really interested in, and make sure that veterinary medicine is indeed what they want to do.”
She isn’t shy about her affinity for UD either. “UD is by far the best institution in the United States. Whenever students are in the truck I tell them that. I loved it there and I think the program is great, and the kids should take advantage of every aspect of it that they can.”
Article by Adam Thomas
Photos by Christy Mannering
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