Matthew, who grew up on a dairy farm at Merrigum, will travel to the US in January for a four-week placement with New York’s Cornell University.
“Cornell offered me a spot at their ambulatory clinic in Ithaca, New York,” he said.
“It’s actually one of the most highly regarded veterinarian teaching institutions in the US and because dairy farming is the main livestock business in the area, dairy cattle account for a large part of the caseload.”
In his fifth year of veterinary science at Charles Sturt University at Wagga Wagga, Matthew said the practical experience would help him better understand US farming, where cows are housed to protect them from winter conditions in January.
Matthew last week won the $12,000 Greeham GOTAFE scholarship.
Matthew, who finishes his studies midway through next year, said he would like to work in mixed practice where there was a “good case load of dairy cattle”.
He was interested in all aspects of dairy and was looking forward to contributing to the industry.
“I have a strong interest in calf health and management, as I see these animals as the future of our dairy herds,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to making a serious contribution to the field.
“I love the idea of being faced with something to test me, working through the problem and ultimately finding a resolution that benefits the animal or farmer. It’s like a puzzle, you just have to solve it.”
His passion for the dairy industry fostered his studies.
“It’s a little cliche,” he said. “But growing up on a dairy farm I’d always been particularly interested in that aspect of it.
“I enjoy all facets of it — it is such a rewarding industry.
“It is hard to explain, but I love the feeling of satisfaction after a hard day’s work.”
The DeCicco family operates Medbrae Holsteins and milks up to 180.
The scholarship is in its 17th year, but this year it has been relaunched to include GOTAFE.
Criteria include personal and academic achievements, benefits of the study area or career path to the beef and dairy industries and how the scholarship might help the applicant realise ambitions.
Source: The Weekly Times