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CVM Students Travel to Washington
for AVMA Event

MU College of Veterinary Medicine students Gabrielle Pagano and Elizabeth Francis traveled to Washington, D.C., recently for the American Veterinary Medical Association’s 2015 Legislative Fly-In. (Photo courtesy of Scott Nolen/AVMA.)

Two MU College of Veterinary Medicine students traveled to Washington, D.C., recently to participate in the American Veterinary Medical Association’s 2015 Legislative Fly-In.

MU’s Elizabeth Francis, a third-year student, and Gabrielle Pagano, a second-year student, joined 64 students from 25 other veterinary schools across the country for the annual two-day event. Its goals were to give students the opportunity to learn about the federal legislative process and advocate for bills that affect the future of the veterinary profession and U.S. animal agriculture.

After spending the first day learning about two high-priority pieces of legislation, the students spent the second day discussing them in meetings with elected officials and their staff members. The students focused on the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program Enhancement Act (S. 440) and the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.

Francis said meeting with legislators and their staffs was intimidating.

“The first time we did it, it was definitely nerve-racking,” she admitted, but she said the meetings became easier as the students gained experience.

“You can tell that (legislators and staffers) appreciate hearing from their constituents,” Francis said.

Pagano said she would strongly recommend participating in the Fly-In to other students.

“This shows you how influential you can be in the field of veterinary medicine,” she said. “And our field needs us, especially as the public becomes more and more passionate about where their food comes from and as the love for their companion animals grows.”

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Last Update: February 29, 2012