The RVC, Kingston Maurward College and regional veterinary practices are collaborating in the further development of a centre of excellence for livestock extension.

Originally set up by Nick Bell in 2011 and now run by Peter Plate the programme has multiple aims:

Students with sheep
  • Ease the transition from final year into the first farm vet job for over 60 RVC students opting for careers in farm animal practice, by giving them more time on farm than is delivered by core teaching. This pre-qualification differentiation in the final year is called ‘Tracking’.  The extra time on rotations with small groups of like-minded students all enthusiastic about farm work means ‘tracking’ goes further than the elective and day-one skills. In Dorset the Production Animal Medicine rotation (FA1) places an emphasis on farm skills (e.g. foot trimming) and herd health (e.g. disease control and prevention strategies). Students are supported in the development of their professional, practical and decision-making skills, built from a fundamental appreciation of the evidence-base.
  • Ease the transition from qualification to one-year qualified through an internship (clinical training scholarship) programme. In close collaboration with Synergy Farm Health, interns take part in a more intensive CPD and mentorship programme. They have access to RVC electronic journals and online resources. The intern shares a house with the tracking students in Bere Regis.
  • Support post-graduate qualification in farm animal through a three-year residency (senior clinical training scholarship) programme. Residents are supported in gaining a European Diploma in Bovine Health Management, running clinical research projects and gaining a Masters in Veterinary Medicine or Masters in Veterinary epidemiology.
  • Development of an extension programme helping vets and livestock farmers integrate the latest research into their daily activities.
Cows in field

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