Fourth-year veterinary student Austin Jacobson of Ponoka, Alta. Supplied photo.
Fourth-year veterinary student Austin Jacobson of Ponoka, Alta. Supplied photo.

Jacobson ideal candidate for bovine award

Caring for cattle has been part of Austin Jacobson’s life since he was old enough to help on his family’s cow-calf operation and to assist at his father’s mixed animal veterinary clinic in Ponoka, Alta. 

His background, along with his exemplary track record at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), made the fourth-year veterinary student an ideal candidate for a bovine health-focused award. Jacobson was among 18 North American veterinary students who received Merck Animal Health Student Recognition Awards this year.

The awards were presented to students during the 2020 American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) annual conference, which took place from Sept. 24 to 26 in Louisville, Ky.

In addition to the award, each student received also received a US$5,000 scholarship.

Jacobson completed a Bachelor of Science degree in biology at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., before beginning the four-year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program at the WCVM in 2017. This fall, he's in the midst of completing his fourth-year clinical rotations and studying for the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) — an exam that all senior veterinary students must pass before they're able to practise.

Once he graduates in spring 2021, Jacobson will become the third veterinarian in his family. His father, Dr. Murray Jacobson Jr., graduated from the WCVM in 1991, while his grandfather, Dr. Murray Jacobson Sr., is a 1969 graduate of Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine.

"My dad and grandfather have always been two of the biggest role models in my life, and I've always strived to be like them," said Jacobson in a WCVM Today profile published several years ago.

"Through their experiences I gained an understanding of the lifestyle, people and the day-to-day challenges of being a veterinarian, and I realized there is no other profession for me."

The Merck Animal Health scholarships are available to veterinary students in their second or third year of school. Recipients are selected based on academic achievement, career goals, work experience and interest in veterinary medicine.

"Merck Animal Health is proud to honour these students who represent the future of cattle care," stated Dr. Justin Welsh, Merck Animal Health's executive director of livestock technical services. 

"These exemplary students embody Merck Animal Health's mission to advance the science of healthier animals. I am confident they will support this mission and make an impact on the field of veterinary medicine as they continue their careers."

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