Pfizer Animal Health, in partnership with veterinarians, animal health suppliers and dealer customers, continues to support youth in agriculture through its Performance Pays Spring 2012 program. The spring program raised $1,173,421 to benefit FFA chapters nationwide, the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) Foundation and, new this year, the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Foundation. Since its inception in 2008, the support program has raised more than $4.7 million to benefit students through these organizations.
“The ongoing partnership through this program with veterinary clinics and animal health suppliers has provided much-needed financial support for FFA chapters and veterinary students,” says Rob Kelly, vice president, U.S. Cattle and Equine Operations, Pfizer Animal Health. “Each and every veterinary clinic, retailer and animal health distributor understands the growing importance of supporting tomorrow’s agricultural leaders, and this program gives them a chance to directly impact these young people.”
Between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2012, a portion of funds from purchases of eligible Pfizer Animal Health cattle and equine products was directed to local FFA chapters, and/or veterinary student scholarships through the AABP and AAEP foundations. As a result, this spring’s program means more than 1,300 designated FFA chapters from 46 states collectively received more than $1 million to support chapter activities. In addition, the AABP Foundation – Pfizer Animal Health Veterinary Student Scholarship Fund received more than $86,500 and the AAEP Foundation received $16,000.
This support makes a difference in the lives of FFA members and veterinary students. It means an opportunity for the Scott Community High School FFA chapter in Scott City, Kan., to improve its chapter and community.
“FFA gives students a broad knowledge of agriculture, but it’s not just agriculture. It also teaches leadership skills and helps prepare us for later on in life, whether preparing for college or for the workplace,” says Tyler Hall, chapter reporter, Scott Community High School FFA. “The support helps a lot. It gives us more time to focus on chapter development instead of just on fundraising.”
In fact, this support has enabled students to gain experience at events across the country and advance their knowledge, said Kiersten Scott, chapter president, Scott Community High School FFA.
“We get to better our education with additional classroom tools, and by going to as many as 15 CDEs (career development events) every year, including trips to livestock and meat judging events,” Scott says. “We are also able to use the support to give back to our community.”
Financial support also is making a difference for people like Timothy Perano, a former University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine student who received a $5,000 scholarship from the AABP Foundation – Pfizer Animal Health Veterinary Student Scholarship Fund. The money helped alleviate some financial pressure with the opening of his own practice, Perano Veterinary Practice, located in Jackson, Calif., immediately following graduation.
“I wasn’t originally planning on starting my own practice immediately, so it’s a tremendous blessing to have fewer student loans to deal with as I start out,” Dr. Perano says. “I really do appreciate all the donors who help support the students, as it’s a great encouragement through school as you face the ever-increasing cost of tuition.”
The newest beneficiary of the program, the AAEP Foundation, is committed to supporting the future of large-animal veterinarians through scholarships.
“We are grateful for this opportunity to offer students the chance to focus on their studies and future careers — not the cost of tuition,” says C. Wayne McIlwraith, BVSc, Ph.D., DSc, FRCVS, Diplomate ACVS & ACVSMR, AAEP Foundation chairman. “We want to give every student the opportunity to extend their education, and the cost of college can be a significant hurdle for the success of veterinary students.”
Support of FFA, the AABP Foundation and the AAEP Foundation is a component of Pfizer Animal Health’s Commitment to Veterinarians™ platform, which offers support through training and education, research and development, investing in the future of the veterinary profession, and philanthropy. For more about Commitment to Veterinarians, visit www.vets.pfizerah.com; see our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pfizeranimalhealth; or follow @Commitment2Vets on Twitter.
For more about how to help advance the animal health industry through the Performance Pays program from Pfizer Animal Health, call 866-611-2626 or visit www.pfizerperformancepays.com.