Since his arrival in 2008, Dr. Steven Tallant, 19th president of Texas A&M University-Kingsville, knew the bureaucratic battle that had begun in 2002 would be a battle worth fighting for. On Oct. 28, the efforts put forward by Tallant and the entire agricultural department finally received their due diligence during the blue ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new 10,000-square-foot veterinary technology (Vet Tech) teaching facility.
The state-of-the-art facility houses a fully-functioning diagnostics laboratory, teaching labs furnished with radiography and x-ray equipment, surgery room, medication and isolation rooms, as well as ample storage space.
Beyond the teaching facility, the University farm and wildlife center will also be used in conjunction with the aid of Kingsville animal control for research purposes as well as education and access to cattle and horses. All of which will be available to eight extremely fortunate students who have traveled all throughout Texas, Virginia, and Washington state just to be able to experience a program that is only one of 22 offered throughout the nation.
Dr. Allen Rasmusses, dean of the college of natural resources and human sciences, said during a press conference that Tallant, upon his arrival, took on the endeavor on as one of his personal goals that would not only help expand the horizons of the university, but also develop well-rounded veterinary technologists with exceptional skills that would be able to adapt to any situation, whether it be in the lab or out in the field.
Professor Clay Hilton, director of the Vet Tech program, expanded on the idea that the students who will eventually graduate will go on to become some of the best, technicians who can step into any clinic at any time and be able to become a productive member of said clinic right away.
Adamant to dismay any notion that veterinary technicians are “stingy people” (alluding to all of the new technology that has been provided to his students)
Hilton’s goal is to simply arm his students with as much real life experience as they possibly can so that “if someone decides they want to all of a sudden change their blood analyzer machines…one of these students can say ‘I already know how to do that,” said Hilton.
Junior and first year veterinary student Anneka Traylor knew her venture into the VetTech program would be an exciting one but after hearing of all the effort that was put forward to make it actually happen, her excitement has reached new highs as she realizes how fortunate she is to be a part of the first class to experience such a first-class facility.
“No other program offers you this amount of hands on experience and individualized attention,” said Traylor, who will be among eight other students who get to test-run all of the technological advances that the teaching facility has to offer.