While I was in Lansing, Mich., for the AVMA/AAVMC meeting, I also had the chance to visit the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. I visited with veterinarians Dan Grooms and Kent Ames and several students (Read a recap on MSU’s food animal initiatives).

One of the highlights was getting to see 5-day old Jersey calf “Bella”, which was the first cloned calf born at Michigan State. Bella has now left the veterinary school and has gone to the MSU dairy facility. Unfortunately, Bella’s “sister” that was delivered via c-section the day I visited, suffered from pneumonia and died. I was told respiratory issues are common with these newborn cloned calves.

Grooms and I also paid a visit to the slat-floored feedlot facility where he’s in the midst of a BVDV study. Having never been to Michigan before, it was interesting to see cattle in a covered, slat-floored feedlot facility which is quite different than the open pen system I’m used to in the Midwest and West.

One of the things that really impressed me as we walked the halls of the veterinary school were the seemingly hundreds of framed photographs of MSU veterinary faculty and their pets, whether they were dogs, cats, rabbits, horses or other critters. What an excellent idea to foster a sense of belonging with the staff and their pets and to also show the commitment of the staff to veterinary medicine. This would be an excellent idea for all veterinary schools (hint, hint).