Harper & Keele Vet student appointed National FAVS President 24-25 | Harper & Keele Veterinary School
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16 February 2024

Harper & Keele Vet student appointed National FAVS President 24-25

Leah Griffiths bottle feeding a calf

First year Harper & Keele Veterinary School student, Leah Griffiths, has been appointed as the National Farm Animal Veterinary Society (FAVS) President 2024–2025. 

A group for students from around the UK and Ireland, the National FAVS hope to encourage more veterinary students to pursue a career in farm animal practice, providing additional opportunities, trips, and information about life as a large animal vet. 

After graduating from the Veterinary Nursing and Practice Management degree at Harper Adams University in 2020, Leah worked as a registered veterinary nurse (RVN) in small animal practice. Leah said: “I’ve had a passion for farm animals since the age of two or three, but living in Cambridgeshire, I had very little exposure to livestock farming.  

“Whilst studying at Harper Adams I met lots of people in the agricultural community and their passion for farming was infectious. I was hooked and couldn't ignore the fact that I really wanted to work with farm animals. Working as a RVN in small animal practice helped to develop my clinical lens, but when the opportunity arose, I followed my passion and went into large animal practice working as an approved TB tester, vet technician, and pharmacist.  

“I have been Head of Youngstock at Halton Farms for just over two years, looking after 300 animals under twelve months old. I love the balance of this on-farm practical work alongside my first-year studies on the Veterinary Medicine and Surgery degree. 

“At Halton Farms I have implemented several new health protocols to help improve efficiency, health and welfare and reduce spending. These include creating the ‘Cow Nose to Tail Examination’ and an in-depth two-step ‘Calf Rearer Training Plan’ which we are aiming to share across the farming community. 

As National FAVS President, my aim is to bridge the gap between students who are not from a farming background and inspire them to pursue a farm animal veterinary career, using social media as a vehicle to share my enthusiasm and promote the farm vet industry. This includes a podcast that I co-host ‘Chewing the Cud at Halton Farms’ which educates and entertains both the public, farmers, and fellow vet students.”  

Professor Matt Jones, Head of the Harper & Keele Veterinary School added: "Leah's journey is a truly inspiring one, capturing the spirit of following passions and not being bound by professional silos. Her studies and experiences in nursing and management have set her up brilliantly as a vet in training ready to take on leadership and make a difference for other students." 

Leah has participated in many industry events and campaigns including a ‘Farmers of the UK’ social takeover, and an Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) broadcast on future farming careers, building a network of contacts to support her tenure as FAVS President, which will commence in September 2024. 

National FAVS run several events throughout the year, including an annual congress, which will be held at Harper & Keele Veterinary School in 2025. For more information about FAVS visit their website, favs.org.uk.   

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