Veterinary medicine students raise money for ranchers affected by wildfires | TSLN.com

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Veterinary medicine students raise money for ranchers affected by wildfires

The Large Animal Veterinary Medical Club has raised over $4,000 for ranchers affected by recent wildfires. Officers pictured are (front row, from left) Kara Sutphen, Kellie Sholes, McKenzie Leu, Rachael Granville, (back row, from left) club adviser Bruce Brodersen, Ben Eilerts, Heidi Black and Tanner Kremke. Phot courtesy UNL

Lincoln, Nebraska, May 5, 2017 – Recent wildfires across Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas have devastated the ranching industry. The fires have destroyed millions of acres of grassland and left thousands of cattle dead. Now students in the Large Animal Veterinary Medical Club at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are lending their support to those affected.

The club acted quickly after learning of the wildfires and organized a fundraiser selling "Vet Med" hats. Over 11 days, the club sold 366 hats, raising over $4,000 for wildfire victims.

"We saw a lot of news coverage about the wildfires and we thought it was important to help out," said Rachael Granville of Springfield, a student in the university's Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine. "Someday those ranchers are going to be our clients, so we care about them and want them to be successful."

The club sold hats to students, faculty and staff at Nebraska and their Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine partners at Iowa State University. In addition, the club extended the fundraiser to veterinary medicine schools at Colorado State University, Kansas State University, Oklahoma State University and Texas A&M University. The University of Illinois and Mississippi State University also contributed to the fundraiser.

According to club president Kara Sutphen, the funds will be given to the Working Ranch Cowboys Association. The association has established a wildfire relief fund to provide financial assistance to working ranchers and cowboys suffering significant hardships due to the wildfires.

"We feel that donating the funds we raise to the Working Ranch Cowboys Association is better than us trying to buy supplies and send it to the affected areas because these people are going to need financial assistance for a long time," Sutphen said. "The association has historically done a lot of crisis relief and they have operations set up for people to apply for the funds."

The club is currently contacting several state veterinary medical associations to see if they will match the funds raised.

The Large Animal Veterinary Medical Club is for Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine students at the university. The club organizes meetings and wet labs to expose students to a variety of topics focused on large-animal medicine. The club also awards scholarships to three students annually.

–University of Nebraska-Lincoln