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Veterinarian Spotlight: Christopher Sumner

Practice: Farm Vet Services / Pell Animal Clinic in Rocky Mount, VA

Tell us about yourself. I grew up on a beef cattle farm in Pulaski, VA. I completed a B.S. in Animal and Poultry Sciences at Virginia Tech in 1999, and graduated from VMRCVM in 2003. My special interests include bovine theriogenology and reproductive physiology. I'm happily married to my wife, Laura, and we have two boys Josh and Luke. We enjoy soccer, Hokie football, golf, skiing and all outdoor activities. We also have a small flock of Hampshire cross sheep and raise club lambs.

What made you become a food animal veterinarian? I witnessed the challenge of production agriculture with our family farm and I really admired some of my veterinary mentors and what good practical problem-solvers they were.

What is your favorite part of your job? I really enjoy the challenges of dairy and beef herd health and trying to be a continual asset and resource of accurate information for our client herds.

What is the toughest part of your job? Protecting my cell number from clients. :)

What is your advice for those interested in pursuing a career in food animal medicine? My advice is to try to use your summer breaks and free time wisely to gain experiences. Some suggestions are volunteering with a mentor vet in a practice, working at a beef or dairy farm or focus on what you what you really love and want.

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