MORRISVILLE, NY — Carrianne Bush wouldn’t trade her internship for anything. The agricultural science student’s day starts feeding goats — giving them hay and grain in SUNY Morrisville’s livestock barn, then moves to the dairy complex, where calves are under her loving care.
“It’s opening a world of opportunities for me,” the 19-year-old Oneida resident said of her summer internship in SUNY Morrisville’s livestock program.
The internship, through the college’s Collegiate Science Technology Entry Program (CSTEP), is helping to feed her skills on her way toward her dream career as a veterinarian.
She’s soaking up as much experience as she can.
“I am eager and willing to try anything,” Bush said. “I am feeding baby cows and goats, training to milk at the dairy facility and learning about vaccination protocols. Anything I learn will be beneficial.”
Growing up, Bush knew she wanted to work with domestic animals. “I had a family dog and that’s the extent of it,” she said.
Putting agriculture in the mix happened by chance. “I visited a friend’s farm and fell in love with cows,” she said. Enrolled in the college’s individual studies program, she switched to agricultural science after talking with Ashley Marshall, associate professor of dairy science.
“Parts of the program are animal-focused to get me on track for vet school,” Bush said. “And I will get prerequisites covered before vet school.”
In addition to caring for goats and calves, Bush is helping to build a fence and a chicken enclosure, cleaning the livestock barn and doing outreach events, like Open Farm Day Madison County, when she manned the calf barn, educating more than 400 visitors at the college’s Arnold R. Fisher Dairy Complex.
“She’s caught on quickly,” said Ashley Marshall, associate professor of dairy science, who is supervising Bush’s internship. “She’s thirsty for knowledge and so willing to learn.”
The college’s new agricultural science bachelor’s degree program will give her more chances to do so.
Bush will be seamlessly transferring from the two-year agricultural science associate degree into the new agricultural science bachelor’s degree, launching this fall, with an interest in the livestock tract. Three other tracks are available — dairy management, agronomy, and agricultural outreach and education.
Bush’s time has been well spent, caring for some of the goats that were actually bred and raised in the livestock barn.
“I fell in love with SUNY Morrisville. The rest is history,” she said.