BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) lends support to the next generation of veterinary professionals through its Illinois Veterinary Education and Training (IVET) program.
IFB recently selected Sydney Miller, University of Illinois, as its 2021 IVET recipient. Miller is a second-year vet student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Veterinary Medicine. The IVET Committee unanimously agreed to offer Sydney Miller the IVET loan at the full amount of $40,000 with a $1,500 stipend.
“I appreciate that this loan exists specifically for veterinary students who are going to practice food animal medicine within the state,” says Miller, who grew up in Fayette County. “I can take comfort in the low-interest rates, as well as the loan being dispersed over the course of several years rather than all at once. I’m looking forward to practicing and being a source of support to farmers and their animals.”
Miller hopes to add happiness to the lives around her as she provides care and healing to her patients and clients in the future.
“Probably the most important thing to me is to be available throughout the day for the farmers,” said Miller.
The IVET Program helps offset the high cost of veterinary education. The program loans up to $40,000 to as many as three veterinary students each year. Loans are provided for a period of two to three years. IVET awards recipients a $1,500 stipend during their fourth year in school to help pay expenses associated with clinical rotations. Loans are repaid over five years after graduation, during which time graduates must commit to working in a food animal practice that services Illinois livestock producers.
“Illinois Farm Bureau encourages veterinary students to pursue a career in caring for food animals,” said Tasha Bunting, associate director of commodities & livestock programs, IFB. “To succeed, farmers need the services of a food-animal veterinarian to help them care for their beef cattle, swine, sheep and poultry. It’s an incredibly rewarding career field that has seen an increase in demand in recent years.”
Miller worked at Durbin Vet Clinic in Fayette County for over two-and-a-half years.
“Continually treating patients at the clinic that I have always admired and respected and contributing to the health of my community in which I was raised, has always been my dream,” said Miller.
Upon graduation from veterinary school, Miller plans to return to her rural community to be a large/mixed animal veterinarian. She has a passion for food animals and looks forward to the opportunity to be a resource for rural communities. Her ultimate goal is to return to Durbin Vet Clinic and eventually become part owner of the clinic.
IFB established IVET in 2005. Since then, the organization has awarded more than $550,000 to 27 veterinary students who focus on caring for food animals in Illinois.
For more information about the program, visit www.ilfb.org/IVET.
The Illinois Farm Bureau is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation, a national organization of farmers and ranchers. Founded in 1916, IFB is a non-profit, membership organization directed by farmers who join through their county Farm Bureau. IFB has a total membership of 396,000 and a voting membership of more than 79,000. IFB represents three out of four Illinois farmers.
— Illinois Farm Bureau
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