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Senator tours HFM Veterinary and Animal Science program

New York State Senator Michelle Hinchey visited the Veterinary and Animal Science program at the HFM Career and Technical Center Thursday, May 6, discussing with students the hand-on experience they’ve gained in the program and their college and career plans.

The Senator feeds a guinea pig fresh spinach as two students look on.

State Senator Michelle Hinchey visited the HFM Career and Technical Center Thursday, May 6 and spoke with students in the Vet and Animal Science program.

Students told the senator that being in the same program with students with similar interests – including the love of animals and a passion for science – has helped them define their future goals.

Both juniors and seniors were present in-person and online for Hinchey’s visit. During their conversation, students listed a wide range of career possibilities they intend to pursue including  becoming veterinarians, vet technicians and animal-assisted therapists. Some students plan to open their own businesses offering grooming, training and other services. Others plan to join the military or work for the state Environmental Conservation Department.

Wells senior Anna Lamphear says she wants to enter the Army and hopes the HFM Vet and Animal Science program gives her a leg up in securing a position as a working dog handler.

Vet and Animal Science graduates also have many opportunities available to them in the agriculture field with some planning to raise livestock or become large animal veterinarians.

Agriculture is a particular interest for Hinchey, who represents the 46th district that covers five counties including all of Montgomery County. Hinchey is also chair of the Senate’s Agriculture Committee.

The senator and HFM Vet and Animal Instructor Victoria Subik agreed that many who work in agriculture are nearing retirement age. As a result, the agricultural field needs young people interested in making it a career. Subilk teaches the program together with Instructor Meredith Tuppen and Teaching Assistant Lisa Zarecki.

During her discussion with the students, Hinchey also touched on a variety of topics including the state budget, the state’s recently passed puppy mill legislation, efforts to train rural veterinarians, the expansion of agricultural markets and more.

Currently, all seniors at the Career and Technical Center are preparing to start their two-week internships working directly with local businesses. Vet and Animal Science students will head out to work at local veterinary clinics, animal shelters, groomers and more.

two Vet and Animal Science students speak with the senator in the program's lab. A microscope and small animal skeletons are in the background.