Food Animal and Reproduction Medicine (FARM) Club at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine wins a Large Animal Ultrasound Machine

The Food Animal and Reproduction Medicine (FARM) Club at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine used their veterinary knowledge, passion, community connections, as well as their dancing and singing skills to win the BCF Technology University Competition, a national competition for veterinary student organizations. The students were proud when their dedication, teamwork, enthusiasm, and community involvement led them to win the BCF Technology Easi-Scan Ultrasound Machine, a new handheld digital ultrasound machine to be used in their food animal medicine studies.

In February, the FARM Club students entered a national competition through a company called BCF Technology for veterinary medicine university organizations to win a new ultrasound machine and a technical training course. The competition judged their creativity, veterinary knowledge, and desire for a new ultrasound machine.

The contest began with a photo, to show the veterinary students enthusiasm for veterinary medicine, and 15 veterinary student organizations from across the country entered the competition. Each organization also submitted a professional technical article on one of several suggested topics. The articles were judged by a veterinary panel.

The panel scored the articles and narrowed down the competition to the top 6 universities, as well as 2 "wild cards." These 8 university organizations created a video entry for the competition, to be voted on by the general public. The FARM Club at UC Davis was one of the top 6 entries and created a music video, a spoof on the popular song "California Girls" by Katy Perry. The FARM Club danced, sang, and interacted with cows during their version, "COW-lifornia Girls."

"We had a lot of fun creating the music video, and hope everyone had just as much fun watching it!" said FARM Club Publicity Commissioner, second year veterinary student Michelle Sanborn. "We were proud to able to reach a wide network of closely connected people that love to support local California student organizations." The FARM Club created a strong marketing campaign, and their video was by far the most popular video.

The FARM Club at UC Davis was able to generate about 2,000 votes for their video, out of a total of 6,000 votes for the 8 university entries. The FARM Club was the only student organization from California, and was supported by a variety of organizations such as the California Beef Council, the California Veterinary Medical Association, and California 4-H. The video and several students in the club were featured on the CBS13 Sacramento Evening News as well as a morning talk show, Good Day Sacramento. "We were honored by the community that came together to support UC Davis veterinary students," said FARM Club Co-President Elect, second year veterinary student Rachael Lyons.

The new handheld digital ultrasound machine worth over $10,000 won by the FARM Club is going to provide an invaluable experience to students for years to come. The FARM Club plans on using it during wet labs which take place on the weekends or after school. It is most often used in bovine medicine for pregnancy diagnosis, but can be used to diagnose other conditions as well.

Ultrasound education is very important to veterinary students, and receiving access to a machine like this early in a student's veterinary education can make a big difference. "We will get immediate exposure to the ultrasound to practice learning, so by the time we get into clinics our fourth year, we can be really proficient with it," said FARM Club Co-President Elect, second year veterinary student Christy Copeland.

"I am very proud of their achievement and enthusiasm. They did an excellent job in representing our University and we are very proud of them," said Dr. Anita Varga, FARM Club faculty advisor and clinician at the UC Davis Livestock Medicine and Surgery Service. The UC Davis FARM Club exists to provide extracurricular learning and networking opportunities for students interested in production medicine. It is a student-run organization for veterinary students interested in food animal medicine. Their website has the mission statement "We believe in providing utmost care for animals, while working to ensure a healthy, wholesome and safe food supply to benefit the world. We have the unique responsibility to bring sound scientific evidence to our future clients and to educate the consuming public about the food they eat." This mission begins in school and continues throughout their careers as food animal veterinary practitioners.

For more information about the FARM Club at UC Davis, or to watch their video entry, please visit the FARM Club at UC Davis website or Facebook page. Additional background about the BCF University Competition can be found on the BCF Technology website.

Author: Michelle Sanborn, FARM Club Publicity Commissioner and second year veterinary student at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine