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Meet four young people who are excelling in animal sciences and veterinary medicine.

Tom J. Bechman, Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer

April 19, 2023

3 Min Read
Devon Anderson feeding bottle to calf
FUTURE RESEARCHER: Devon Anderson, studying to become a veterinarian at Purdue University, received a 2023 Zoetis Foundation-AAVMC veterinary student scholarship.Courtesy of Devon Anderson

Allan Schinckel, a professor in Purdue animal sciences, says the recent achievements of four students are noteworthy.

“Two current animal sciences students both received the highly competitive Lois Britt pork industry scholarship,” Schinckel reports. They are Keegan Sheiss and Elizabeth Staggs. “Taylor Jansen, an animal sciences graduate and vet student, was the first Purdue swine vet student in a long time to present her research in competition at [the annual meeting of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV)]. Another animal sciences graduate and current vet student, Devon Anderson, also won a Zoetis-AAVMC award.”

Winner of a Lois Britt Memorial Pork Industry Scholarship, Sheiss spent lots of his childhood on his grandparents’ 500-sow farrow-to-finish operation near Larwill, Ind. He says his internships with Belstra Milling Co., Farm Credit Mid-America and The Maschhoffs prepared him well for his first job as a sales representative in Elanco’s Swine Business Unit.

“I am looking forward to this opportunity, and it will allow me to use my connections and knowledge from previous experiences to be a resource for swine producers in their continuous goal to raise healthy and efficient pigs,” Sheiss says.

Keegan Sheiss

Staggs also won a Lois Britt scholarship. The 10-year Parke County 4-H’er grew up showing cattle and swine at local, state and national shows. Currently a sophomore at Purdue in animal sciences, she has a concentration in agribusiness and minors in food and agribusiness management and farm management, with a certificate in industrial selling.

“I am extremely passionate about the animal agriculture industry, as it continues to shape me into the person I am today,” she says. “I am so fortunate to be a part of an influential industry that feeds the world.”

Ellie Staggs

Jansen is one of four students nationally who recently received a scholarship from AASV. As an undergraduate in animal sciences, she conducted heat stress calorimeter research.

Jansen notes that she felt honored to be asked to present her research. She says she has a passion for pigs and loves her industry.

Pat Hoffmann, Carly Bates, Hope Dohlman, Rachel Kanefsky and Taylor Jansen

Anderson was an Animal Sciences Ambassador during his undergraduate career at Purdue. Besides working toward becoming a veterinarian in the Class of ’25, he is dually enrolled in a master’s program in animal sciences in reproductive physiology.

“My goal is to stay within academia and share expertise and knowledge with students and industry professionals,” he says. His leadership and skills earned him a Zoetis Foundation-American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges scholarship.

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About the Author(s)

Tom J. Bechman

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer, Farm Progress

Tom J. Bechman is editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer. He joined Farm Progress in 1981 as a field editor, first writing stories to help farmers adjust to a difficult harvest after a tough weather year. His goal today is the same — writing stories that help farmers adjust to a changing environment in a profitable manner.

Bechman knows about Indiana agriculture because he grew up on a small dairy farm and worked with young farmers as a vocational agriculture teacher and FFA advisor before joining Farm Progress. He works closely with Purdue University specialists, Indiana Farm Bureau and commodity groups to cover cutting-edge issues affecting farmers. He specializes in writing crop stories with a focus on obtaining the highest and most economical yields possible.

Tom and his wife, Carla, have four children: Allison, Ashley, Daniel and Kayla, plus eight grandchildren. They raise produce for the food pantry and house 4-H animals for the grandkids on their small acreage near Franklin, Ind.

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