The College of Agriculture traces back to 1872 when Auburn was the Alabama Agriculture and Mechanical College. Maggie Mills is a sophomore majoring in Animal Science with a concentration in pre-vet. She is learning about animals in order to accomplish her dream of becoming a large animal veterinarian.
“I got in to the College of Ag unintentionally. I selected Animal Science on my Auburn application since I want to go to vet school, and I almost switched to the College of Science and Math. I’m thankful I didn’t switch because I have had the opportunity for so much hands-on experience,” Mills said energetically.
Veterinary school is a total of four years. The first and second years are consisted of mostly labs and lectures. Mills is excited for the last year of vet school because each clinical is two weeks.
Mills is planning to apply to Auburn’s veterinary school in Fall 2012. Vet school requires an application and an interview process, just like medical school.
“I can’t wait for vet school but right now I love the College of Ag because of the hands-on experience, and you learn so much about where your food comes from which is really important. Some people don’t realize how animal agriculture works,” said Mills.
Mills would love to work with zoo animals because she does not want to handle small animals such as dogs and cats. Also, promoting conservation efforts is something Mills strives to encourage people to support.
“I’ve always been passionate about wildlife and biodiversity. I think it’s very important that people realize the importance of preserving wildlife and the habitats they live in,” said Mills.
There are several tasks and experiences that Mills has enjoyed while at Auburn. Her most fond memory thus far is Dr. Temple Grandlin’s lecture and the volunteer work she does at the raptor center.
“Dr. Temple Grandin was one of my favorite speakers because she has an amazing gift to think visually. She talked about her experiences with autism as well as new and better methods for humane livestock handling,” Mills said with a smile.
The raptor center is a great opportunity for students to volunteer and receive experience outside of the classroom. Some students are able to work with the eagles that fly over the football stadium on game days.
“The first time I got to hold a bird on my arm was one of my favorite experiences, but overall working at the raptor center has been such a great experience. I do everything from cleaning cages to cutting up dead rats and mice to feed the raptors. I also get to help with some surgeries,” said Mills.
Students enjoy the various classes the College of Ag offers. Mills took a horse management and training class, which consisted of her training a yearling horse.
“I had to teach a baby horse how to walk on a halter. I was also responsible for bathing, grooming, and teaching him to lunge,” said Mills.
The College of Agriculture takes pride in its 1,000 undergraduate students learning about various agriculture topics from Fisheries to Biosystems Engineering.