On January 17, the Beef Cattle Institute (BCI) at Kansas State University hosted 19 graduates of the Veterinary Training Program for Rural Kansas (VTPRK) in Manhattan. The conference represented the first reunion of VTPRK alumni, and focused on promoting success earlier in the veterinary career. The College of Veterinary Medicine alumni attended presentations by Dr. Brad White, director of the BCI; Dr. Bob Larson, professor of production medicine; Dr. Bob Weaber, professor of animal science and extension specialist; Dr. Dustin Pendell, associate professor of agricultural economics; and Dr. Tom Schwartz, director of the Veterinary Health Center.

Topics covered during the workshop included: Getting the most out of your career and life; adding value to your beef practice; cow herd reproductive services; and veterinary practice economics. The interactive sessions fostered discussion of improving veterinary clinic value, and improving relationships with clients and coworkers.

The day concluded with a reception inviting current K-State veterinary students to visit with VTPRK alumni.

The VTPRK program supports five students in each class enrolled in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (DVM) program at K-State in obtaining $20,000 annually as a loan to be used for educational expenses. Each veterinary student in the program can borrow up to $80,000 during the four years while completing his or her veterinary degree to be forgiven if the veterinarian practices in a qualifying rural Kansas community for four years following graduation. Preference is given to students who are Kansas residents and who are determined to practice in any county in Kansas with fewer than 35,000 residents.

VTPRK alumni in attendance:
Carson Abrams –– Cottonwood Animal Clinic, Arkansas City
Tera Barnhardt –– Cattle Empire LLC, Satanta
Caitlin Beall –– Central Veterinary Services, P.A., Stockton
Nicole Born –– Countryside Veterinary Clinic, Garnett
Curtis Concannon –– Atchison Animal Clinic, Atchison
Christopher Cox –– Spur Ridge Vet Hospital, Marion
Darla Dwyer –– Flyin’ 3 Veterinary Service, Eureka
Bruce Figger –– South Wind Animal Health, Stafford
David Hanks –– East Emporia Veterinary Clinic, Emporia
Adam Hatesohl –– Animal Health Center, Washington
Nick Henning –– Heartland Veterinary Center, Ness City
Adam Lukert –– St. Marys Veterinary Service, St. Marys
Jodi Pitts –– Santa Fe Trail Veterinary Clinic, LLC, Montezuma
Elyse Rottinghaus –– McPherson Vet Clinic, McPherson
Stacy Rugan –– Animal Clinic P.A., Frankfort
Corbyn Schroeder –– Cedar Ridge Veterinary Clinic, Atchison
Sara Strickland –– Red Oak Animal Hospital, Bucyrus
Amy Sunday –– Heartland Veterinary Health Center, Holton
Jessica Winter –– Hillsboro Animal Clinic, Hillsboro

Current students in attendance:
Matt Kelso –– Class of 2020
Lena Fernkopf –– Class of 2021
Colton Hull –– Class of 2022
Whitney Sloan –– Class of 2022
Natasha Vangundy –– Class of 2022
Shanlyn Hefley –– Class of 2020
Anna Hickert –– Class of 2020
William Patterson –– Class of 2022
Shaylee Flax –– Class of 2022
Jared Heiman –– Class of 2021