For the past two weeks, I have been working with a vet at a local county fair. We have been conducting livestock check-ins and entry physical exams, as well as collecting urine for random drug tests to ensure a fair competition among the animals.
Armed with a plastic container duct-taped to PVC pipe at the end of a long pole, I collect urine from goats, sheep, steers, and swine. I am at the mercy of their urinary system. Sometimes, this means I can wait for hours to get an acceptable sample. It may not seem like the most exhilarating job, yet as with most things, I have learned a lot. Once you follow a goat or swine around for three hours to collect a urine sample, you begin to learn quite a bit about the intricacies of their behavior that often go unnoticed.
I have also been able to improve my client communication skills as I interact with 4-H and FFA exhibitors, their parents, and their leaders throughout this process. I never showed animals growing up, so the fair and showmanship experience is completely new to me. I love being able to learn from the kids as well as share my experiences and knowledge with them. So although, my job may not be glamorous, it is definitely educational and for me, that’s what it’s all about.