As a vet school, we pride ourselves on the diversity of our students that attend our institution but also the varying career aspirations between these students. The institution’s veterinary societies are some of the best within the university allowing our students to become more competent in their chosen fields of interest. This is especially true for the Liverpool Farm Animal Veterinary Society (LFAVS). Each year we are fortunate to welcome many students with a keen interest in farm animal and production medicine, and support those who develop the farming bug as they progress through the degree. So, our society focuses on all things farm(ed) animal and production and aims to support and encourage students who wish to pursue careers as farm/mixed veterinary practitioners.
Our aims are simple. We provide opportunities to consolidate and bridge the gap between lecture material and real-life application, and to explore aspects of farm practice where it may sometime lack within the veterinary curriculum. We do this through talks, debates, practical sessions, external trips to working farms and the utilisation of resources, individuals and organisations who are experts in their fields!
We are fortunate at Liverpool to have two working farms at our Leahurst (clinical) campus. Wood Park Farm is a dairy unit set in 200 acres supporting a closed herd of 185 milking cows, as well as youngstock. It boasts accreditation by Tesco as a Centre of Excellence and gathers real-time data that is often used extensively in teaching and research. Ness Heath is a 200-acre mixed-stock farm (beef, sheep and pigs). Students are often involved with the daily workings of the farm and our society holds annual species-specific practical days at the farms. Our annual dairy day is always heavily over-subscribed, as is our sheep day and this year we are looking to incorporate an external Alpaca Day after demand for better coverage in the curriculum from students and alpaca owners alike!
Events we have planned for the 2018/19 academic year include various talks on differing species, species-specific practical days, talks on issues affecting farming communities, e.g. mental health and livestock worrying, debates, farm walks in association with local farm practices, workshops (such as a pre-clinical poultry workshop). We are also being more inclusive in our society of species that are farmed, such as deer, bees, fish, goats and gamebirds to expose our students to the array of sectors within farming.