Hitting the Road

Logan McQuillen

The past two summers have found Logan McQuillen on the road quite a bit.

The third-year veterinary student participated in a pair of summer internships that required him to travel throughout Iowa as part of research projects.

“I did the first internship because it was an unique opportunity to incorporate some field research experience into my education,” McQuillen said. “After that first summer, I wanted to try to get another internship through the same program and it worked out well as I was able to work a different side of the beef industry.”

Both summers, McQuillen participated in the Bovine Veterinary Internship Program (BVIP) offered through Iowa State’s College of Veterinary Medicine. The program gives veterinary students the opportunity to collaborate with leading veterinarians in the bovine veterinary medicine industry while not only learning the principles of beef herd health and management, but designing and executing bovine field trials.

In his first internship, McQuillen worked with Williamsburg Veterinary Medical Center in Wiliamsburg, Iowa. He traveled throughout eastern Iowa performing efficacy tests for an on-pasture mineral cattle deworming product. The internship was sponsored by Merck Animal Health and McQuillen also investigated the clinic’s heifer development program data to look into how physical traits and reproductive measurements can help predict early conception in replacement beef heifers.

“I hadn’t had a ton of experience with research before,” McQuillen said. “But paired with the hands-on work I got with the clinic’s veterinarians on calls, it was exactly the type of experience I wanted.”

This past summer, McQuillen spent time at the Fremont County Veterinary Clinic in Sidney, Iowa, in a project sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim. For this research project he traveled throughout southeast Iowa, touring feedlots and conducting Beef Quality Assurance Feedyard Assessments.

“I grew up on a cow-calf operation and hadn’t nearly as much experience working with feeder cattle,” he said. “I was looking to get more time with them so things really lined up perfectly for me there.”

The internships have also led to more traveling for the veterinary student. His work with the data from the Heifer Development Program in Williamsburg was accepted to be presented at the upcoming 2020 American Association of Bovine Practitioners Student Case Presentation session in Louisville, Kentucky.

That wouldn’t have been possible without the BVIP internship program.

“It’s always nice to get hands-on experience with animals alongside the curriculum,” McQuillen said. “I really got lucky with my hosting clinics and the ability to work with and be mentored by experienced veterinarians was a great environment to learn and try new things.”