After completing her bachelor’s degree in animal sciences, as well as her DVM at The Ohio State University, Sarah Easter Strayer, DVM, ’14 MPH, came to the University of Minnesota. Before completing her MPH and a residency in Veterinary Public Health and Population Medicine at the U of M, Easter Strayer was awarded funding from the Veterinary Pioneers in Public Health Fund to travel to Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda for an international professional development experience.
Easter Strayer and her colleagues traveled to three regions of Uganda to meet with several goat herders around the country. The group learned the role small ruminants play in the lives of those recovering after the insurgency in northern Uganda, how small land holders in the mountains of Uganda use small ruminants to cope with diminishing land amidst increasing population size to meet the nutritional challenges of the population and improve their incomes, and the role small ruminants play in HIV infected and affected families to provide a relatively inexpensive source of protein for family members.
“The focus of my third year in the Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine Residency was on Food Animal Population Health Systems,” says Easter Strayer. “I considered this to be the culminating experience of my third and final year. Having the opportunity to experience the successes and concerns of the goat herders in the three areas we visited was invaluable in shaping my understanding of owning goats in less developed nations.”
Easter Strayer now works as a command veterinarian in the US Army. She is stationed in Kuwait. “I plan to use what I learned through this opportunity to focus efforts on sustainable veterinary interventions in nation building and stability operations in the Army.”