In mid-June, Heather Hastings (’17 DVM) joined the team at Pioneer Veterinary Hospital in Tillamook, Oregon. As a mixed animal practitioner, Heather works with a variety of patients, including the cows of the Tillamook Dairy Co-op. Her mornings are spent mostly working with the cows, performing herd checks and more, while her afternoons are dedicated to the very busy small animal clinic. Heather also treats equine and small ruminant patients.
“I’m really excited to work with the smaller, progressive farms [that make up the Tillamook Dairy Co-op],” Heather said. “They have really high milk quality standards because the farmers own the cooperative.”
Heather gained valuable experience with dairy cows by participating in the Northwest Bovine Veterinary Experience Program (NW-BVEP) as a veterinary student at Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. During the summer between her first and second year of veterinary school, she spent six weeks on a dairy farm learning about and performing many of the major tasks of the operation including delivering and raising calves, milking, feeding, breading, treating ill animals, record keeping, and working with the contract veterinarian. Heather’s second summer with NW-BVEP focused exclusively on working with several dairy veterinarians for a period of six weeks. These experiences helped familiarize her with the dairy industry and solidified her desire to work with dairy cows after graduation. Heather discovered her job at Pioneer Veterinary Hospital through the American Association of Bovine Practitioners website, a valuable resource for those interested in dairy or mixed animal/dairy practice. In her free time, Heather enjoys running on the beach and hiking in the Tillamook National Forest with her dog Petrie.