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Australian Cattle Council : Yearbook 2009
CA TTLE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA YEARBOOK 2009 Vet Science Profile ian Croft, Charles sturt university As a young kid in primary school I wanted to be a vet after reading James Herriot’s books about life as a country veterinarian in Yorkshire. However as I progressed through my secondary school years I began to believe this could just be a dream as I was thought I was too thick to get the exam results for university veterinary science training. in Herefordshire in the United Kingdom where I worked as a groundskeeper at a boarding school. I have always enjoyed working outside, especially in agriculture, which probably started when I was raised on the family farm at Guyra where we backgrounded steers. S On returning to Australia I enrolled in the rural science course at the University of New England completing it in 2003. I then won a scholarship to undertake a Masters in Agriculture through the University of Queensland. One of the benefits of this was an opportunity to do an overseas exchange with the University of Wales in Aberystwyth which included playing lots of rugby and a beer or two at the end of the day! Returning to Australia I completed my research project into heat stress in feedlot cattle and decided I wanted to work in the feedlot industry. My first job was at a Brisbane Valley feedlot working for Australian Country Choice and I loved it. I liked being able to measure performance in a controlled environment and see the theory in action. In 2005 I was transferred to Brindley Park Feedlot in Roma, a 20,000 head feedlot, as the feed mill supervisor progressing to livestock manager with principal responsibilities in animal health issues. It was a satisfying job; riding the pens, pulling out sick cattle, treating them and watching them recover for later sale as healthy fat cattle. I really enjoyed performing necropsies because I wanted to know how it all worked which rekindled my passion to study further. The veterinary science course at Charles Sturt University (CSU) with its focus on production animals made my choice of university very easy. 56 o when I finished school in 1998 I trod a common path and spent a Gap year Before I started at CSU I also worked as a feedlot sales representative for Elanco Animal Health. The skills and process of making sales calls were very similar to the mock veterinary consult sessions at CSU! I was fortunate to meet many people in the feedlot industry whom I value as friends and contacts that I believe will be helpful for future work experience placements. I have had some amazing experiences, one of which was a week spent on a live export boat from Darwin to Indonesia. I am currently in Year 3 of the six year veterinary science course at CSU and see my future in the health and welfare of production animals with my most intense interest currently focussed on feedlot cattle. Intensive systems will come under increasing pressure from a welfare perspective, the efficiency of resource use as well as the requirement to provide a growing market with a consistent supply of protein. I see these issues as opportunities. Ian Croft 1117_CCA Yearbook 2009.indd 56 5/5/09 8:01:10 PM