Extension and Community Outreach

Sally DeNotta

The UF College of Veterinary Medicine we promote the health and welfare of all animals. We serve our local community and animals throughout the state of Florida and beyond through Veterinary Extension services and a wide range of outreach programs. Through these programs, we provide support to the animal-owning public, the animal industry and the veterinary profession by offering a variety of educational opportunities along with clinical and consultative expertise. Our commitment to public service through Extension is supplemented by nationally respected outreach programs in shelter medicine, aquatic animal health and disaster response.

To ensure that our Extension and Outreach programs continue to reach those groups and individuals who currently rely on them and increase their potential and capacity for additional impact, we will:

  • Maintain relationships or re-engage with industry stakeholders in the post-COVID-19 environment: We will rekindle our relationships with industry groups and contact representatives with organizations with which the college has had meaningful relationships in the past as and to reinforce existing relationships.
    • Extension faculty served on the Florida Association of Equine Practitioners and the Equine Advisory Committee for the Florida Farm Bureau and all equine extension programs returned to in-person in 2022, including Healthy Horses Conference, 4-H Veterinary Science Camp and 4-H University.
    • Extension faculty presented updates at the Florida Cattleman’s quarterly meeting and the 71st Annual Beef Short Course through UF-IFAS
    • Extension faculty in collaboration with the department of animal sciences/UF-IFAS, we organized the 2022 Florida Ram Test and Sale
  • Additionally, we will seek fresh opportunities for relationship-building.
    • We hosted a face-to-face continuing education meeting in the spring of 2022 for our referring veterinarians.
    • In collaboration with the department of animal sciences/UF-IFAS, we organized a sheep ultrasound and carcass evaluation course for practitioners.
  • Maintain and strengthen ties to alumni: We reconnected with alumni in face to face meetings, enhancing opportunities for engagement.
    • In 2022 we hosted an alumni weekend in the spring and an alumni event during Homecoming in October.
    • Our continuing education meeting in the spring of 2022 for Referring Veterinarians also brought many alumni back to the college and afforded good opportunities for engagement.
    • We hosted the first Food Animal Reproductive Workshop for practitioners.
    • We offered presentations to alumni on Deer Health and Farming.
  • Maintain and strengthen ties to professional and regulatory groups:
    • We continued to support the Florida Veterinary Medical Association (FVMA) and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the office of the state veterinarian.
    • We worked with FDACS to provide disaster response to Hurricane Ian through our UF-VETS disaster response team, which deployed to Fort Myers in the fall of 2022.
    • Extension faculty participated in the Florida Agricultural Crimes Intelligence Unit Conference, providing hands-on training in small ruminant techniques as well as lectures.
    • Collaborations continued with the USDA state veterinarians.
    • We hosted the first American Association of Equine Practitioners New Practitioners symposium in February 2022.
  • Strengthening relationships with veterinarians to support our practice-based equine and small animal clerkships: To reinforce the importance of these relationships and the value of these clerkships to our professional students, we will, when appropriate, visit practices with which we already collaborate and explore new possibilities for additional collaborations when they emerge.
    • We enrolled four new practice-based equine clerkship (PBEC) practitioners in 2021-22.
    • We enrolled 12 new clinics with 18 new clinicians into our practice-based small animal clerkship since 2000 and are working with two more clinics with two D.V.M.s who hope to join our program before the start of spring semester.
    • We provided an online webinar for PBEC practitioners during an EHV outbreak in spring 2021.
    • We held a virtual PBEC townhall in 2021 to obtain feedback from PBEC practitioners and an update on program status. We also initiated a lunchtime distinguished speaker series in equine medicine for PBEC practitioners and UF faculty, with two seminars in December 2022.
  • Strengthening involvement with external groups to facilitate teaching: We will visit and send students, when appropriate, to venues including the Miami Dade Animal Services shelter, with which we have an existing collaboration, and will explore expansion of teaching possibilities with other shelters.
    • In 2021, we added a student clerkship at the Alachua County Animal Services location in Gainesville, Florida. This clerkship, which includes four students per rotation, has provided significant support to operations and medical/surgical care of animals at the shelter, while simultaneously providing an excellent hands-on learning experience for students.

 Engagement of animal owners and groups: We will develop new online learning opportunities and conferences for animal owners and producers to help augment the traditional face to face offerings.

    • We hosted the Healthy Horses Conference in July 2022, resuming the meeting in-person.
    • We hosted the Florida Association of Kennel Clubs/SACS Veterinary Health Special in Seminars October 2022. Lectures were provided to over 50 breed enthusiasts on eye diseases, kidney diseases and reproductive health.
  • Continued fostering of community engagement in college programs: The UF Shelter Medicine Program at UF, our Veterinary Community Outreach Program, Operation Catnip, Forensic Pathology, Aquatic Animal Health and diversity pipeline programs are all areas that have made a profound impact on the populations they serve. We will look at each program specifically for ways to continue to promote awareness of these programs and ways the community can participate in what they offer.