Career Spotlight of the Month (April 2020)
Name: Caleigh Jerry, RVT
Current Job: Livestock Registrar at the Canadian Livestock Records Corporation
Q & A with Caleigh
OAVT: Where did you go to school and what made you decide to take a Veterinary Technology program?
Caleigh: I’ve been an RVT since 2014, but I also have an undergraduate degree in Equine Management, and certificate in Equine Science with Distinction. For my undergraduate degree I went to the University of Guelph, both Kemptville and Main campuses, as it was a split program with a good amount of hands-on learning which was done at the Kemptville campus. I also completed my certificate at the University of Guelph through their online platform.
For my Veterinary Technology Diploma I chose to go to Algonquin College as it was close to home and was a two-year program instead of three. I chose to do Veterinary Technology after my attempt to get a Bachelor of Science and enter OVC to become a veterinarian ended up not coming to fruition. I have wanted to work in veterinary medicine my entire life, in part due to watching the television show All Creatures Great and Small growing up.
OAVT: You are currently a Livestock Registrar at the Canadian Livestock Records Corporation. Tell us about your role.
Caleigh: I work in the bovine division. I was hired in this position in part due to my background in agriculture and knowledge of a variety of animal species as part of my Equine certificate, Bachelor of Science and Veterinary Technology Diploma.
OAVT: So do you feel like being an RVT has helped you in your role? Do you feel like you are using a lot of your RVT skills and training?
Caleigh: Within my job we need to be knowledgeable about a range of different livestock species and breeds. Knowing the proper names when referring to males and females, as well as young, means less confusion when talking to owners and breeders. We also deal with DNA testing for parentage as well as a number of inheritable diseases, and need to be able to understand these results and their implications for the breeders and associations.
OAVT: What is a typical day like for you?
Caleigh: In the morning when I come in, I will look at my desk for any new online work that has come in overnight; this will have been created into a work voucher. I will also sort any mail that has come in and make these into work vouchers as well. Any DNA results that have been received from the labs will be filed in their respective vouchers and then I will begin work on outstanding vouchers that have been waiting for work to be completed.
Work vouchers can include registrations of animals, transfers of ownership, orders for DNA testing, updating records and creating membership accounts for the various associations I deal with. I deal with twelve separate breed associations between the USA and Canada, and twenty-four all together with my colleague. I am in constant consultation with these various associations and breeders as well as co-workers.
OAVT: What do you love about your current job? Do you feel like you’re making a difference?
Caleigh: I feel like I am an integral part to the bovine industry and make a difference every day. Being a registrar means that I am making the call as to whether an animal can be registered or sold as a specific breed. It is my responsibility to know the rules and bylaws and how these rules may apply to any number of situations. It is these situations and the problem solving involved that I love most about my current job.
OAVT: What other jobs have you had in the RVT field?
Caleigh: I’ve worked in two separate small animal clinics upon graduation prior to my current position at CLRC. Through the years I have also interned with the Animal Health Lab at the Kemptville Campus and volunteered with Community Veterinary Outreach in Ottawa.
OAVT: You work in a less traditional sector for RVTs. Do you find that moving out of the traditional clinic life has given your RVT career more longevity?
Caleigh: Yes, I believe the switch has provided for me a more rewarding environment. I had tried working in clinic but it just wasn’t the right fit. Even though this is a desk job with a data entry focus, there are new and interesting situations that come about every day. Others in my workplace with a similar position as mine have been there for years and so I anticipate the same for myself.
OAVT: RVTs are passionate people, and every RVT has an area they are most passionate about. What is YOUR passion?
Caleigh: I have had a number of passions through the years including a love for dissection, discovering how things work, or how an animal died has always intrigued me. Large animals, in particular horses, have also been a passion of mine. While working through my undergraduate degree I was given the opportunity to go to Utah and observe wild horse for a week out in the desert. This experience opened my eyes to the possibility of a job that may not be in a traditional clinic setting.
Photo credit: the bovine photos above are Belted Galloway Cattle, one of the 12 breeds Caleigh registers. The farm has graciously allowed us to use some of their photos. Their website: http://www.bandofgypsiesranch.com/.