WWOOFing for farm animal experience and connecting with farm animal vets?

Viscernable

Purdue c/o 2025
Jun 13, 2020
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  1. Pre-Veterinary
For obvious reasons I'm pretty doubtful of my chances of getting volunteering and shadowing hours with clinics right now. I've contacted the clinic I used to volunteer at and I'm drafting a cover letter to ask clinics I don't already have a connection to, but I think it's likely they'll all want to limit the number of people entering the clinic as much as possible (sidenote: are there any tasks volunteers could maybe help clinics with remotely? I'm racking my brain for things to offer to do for clinics to make a connection but I've got nothing). I'm really interested in agriculture and especially permaculture and food animal welfare, and I think I want to go into food animal medicine (although I'm also interested in SA medicine and vet med research, especially in parasitology, food animal welfare, and sustainable agriculture/food animal medicine). I have a lot of equine experience but no other large animal experience. I figure that at the moment homesteads and small farms that usually rely on WWOOFers might be struggling to find applicants due to travel restrictions, so I looked into local WWOOF hosts asking for help with animal care and found quite a few that look like they would be a really great experience. My hope is that I'll be able to ask to observe any vet visits and to ask to get in contact with the farm's vet to see if they might be open to me shadowing/volunteering for them on my days off farm work. What do you think of the chances of that plan working? I really need more vet experience, to be honest. However, even if I can't get any vet experience through this plan I think I'll try out local WWOOFing for the farm animal experience because I'm really interested in the whole experience (I've worked on a horse farm and found it exhausting but so satisfying, I'm passionate about sustainable agriculture and decentralizing food production systems for food security and sovereignty, I love growing food, I really want to learn more carpentry/building/repair and food production skills, and I'm prepared to do difficult labour), and if I can't get vet experience at clinics anyway I might as well spend my time doing something else I'm excited about.
 
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Viscernable

Purdue c/o 2025
Jun 13, 2020
1,862
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  1. Pre-Veterinary
Oh, sorry, I thought it was a more well-known term. Stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, an organization/platform workers and hosts use to connect. Basically working on small farms for a place to stay and food. Obviously not very lucrative work but you get a lot of new skills and experiences and generally hosts only ask for 25-30 hours work/week so there's time to explore the area around the farm so it's popular as a way to work while traveling.
 
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EB73674

Ohio State c/o 2025
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Apr 4, 2017
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Oh, sorry, I thought it was a more well-known term. Stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, an organization/platform workers and hosts use to connect. Basically working on small farms for a place to stay and food. Obviously not very lucrative work but you get a lot of new skills and experiences and generally hosts only ask for 25-30 hours work/week so there's time to explore the area around the farm so it's popular as a way to work while traveling.
My friend did this on both a horse farm in Morocco and a more produce-driven farm in Spain, and said it was easily the best and most formative experience of her life. It actually drove her into human medicine when she saw the prevalence of certain preventable disease among more transient communities in both countries. I'm in agreement with bats, I think it's worthwhile for the volunteer and food animal aspects alone, whether or not you see a veterinarian the entire time you're there!
 
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indy2020

Cornell CVM
Sep 23, 2019
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  1. Pre-Veterinary
I did WWOOF for a couple of summers and it was great! I think its a really great experience especially if you are unfamiliar with farming and want to learn more about the industry. If you decide to work large animal in the future you'll be able to draw from your experience and be able to relate and understand more. If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them!
 

Dinashadow

Supreme Goddess of the Universe
2+ Year Member
May 11, 2018
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I know I'm late to the thread but my husband and I did WWOOF a few years ago in another state. We had a bad experience with our farm but your mileage will vary. Feel free to PM me!
 
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