Check out this story from Globe University student Diana Ornes. Diana, along with other students in the vet tech program, recently volunteered at a local goat farm to give back, build their hands-on skills with production animals, and have fun together!
On Sunday, September 23 the vet tech students went to volunteer at a milking goat farm located near Genoa, Wisconsin. The students, and members of the La Crosse campus SCNAVTA (Student Chapter of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America), have spent many hours volunteering, cleaning, and raising funds for local shelters that they wanted to give back to the large animal aspect of the field.
While at the farm they helped move goat kids from one barn to another, lifting and carrying them to a trailer that they would be transported in to the new barn facility. The students also cleaned the milk house and milking parlor, as well as change milker inflations and tubing, to help prevent bacteria and parasites from entering the goats’ udders as well as the milk supply.
I feel it was important to give back to the production animal aspect because the farms and shelters allow us to learn with their animals on a daily basis at school. I think that it is a great idea to volunteer and show them our gratitude because if it wasn’t for these animals and the facilities that allow us the use of their animals, our program wouldn’t be the same. We learn so much more with the hands-on experience in this program. We thank every single shelter, rescue, and farm facility we visit.
The trip to the farm started off with a tour and watching goats being milked. We then fed the calves that were in calf huts. After feeding the calves we started to clean the milking facility and get it ready to be power washed. The milk house was cleaned out and scrubbed wall-to-wall and then milking parlor was cleared out and pressure washed. We had an outdoor picnic filled with good food and a silly goat whom we nick-named “Chippy” because he ended up eating chips right off our plates. Chippy became our little mascot while we were there, and he followed us everywhere we went.
My favorite part of this trip was being with my fellow students and learning more about goat milk production. I am married to a dairy farmer so it was interesting to me to be able to compare the goat milking aspect to the dairy aspect.
In all, the volunteer time we put in on Sunday was rewarding to everyone that attended.
We feel that when we give back to the places that let us use their animals and facilities for our learning, we are showing the community that we really do care and we are grateful for what they provide to us.
The farm owner was very appreciative because what we accomplished in a day would have taken them a couple days to a week to complete on their own. It was a win-win situation.
Our volunteerism never ends, we seek to help out at least two shelters or facilities per quarter and we have had discussions of doing another large animal, possibly dairy, site as well as another local shelter, just to show how appreciative we are and to give back what we take out of this program.