Peyton Porter, a soon-to-be junior at Norwood High School, just completed a lengthy agricultural program at Kentucky State University from June 3-18 in Frankfort, KY. For two weeks, Porter was immersed in the AgDiscovery Program that focused on veterinary medicine — something Norwood’s Dilyn Alexander previously did also.
Porter was informed about the program by Norwood science teacher Catherine Kolbet. The process involved an application to attend and was completely paid for, except for the airfare.
Porter said she was grateful to be awarded the opportunity. She said it took some adjustment to be away from home for that long and also living in the university’s dormitory, but she did settle in.
Daily, she and the visiting students were learning about veterinary medicine in a very hands-on manner. Porter said she swabbed chickens, dissected pigs and bled goats, the latter of which consisted of finding a neck vein in goats and then inserting a needle in order to draw blood that is tested.
She also preg-checked cows, something she’s comfortably done before at home.
“We did a whole variety of stuff related to vet medicine,” she said.
Her favorite part, she told The Norwood Post, was going to Godolphin, a renown breeding farm for thoroughbred race horses. She said that the equine aspect of vet medicine is actually the most appealing to her.
“Anything in equine is where I want to end up,” she said. “I’m just not sure of the pathway through that.”
Now, as she begins her junior year of high school, she will narrow her focus so that she can plan for college. She’s also interested in chiropractic medicine for horses, and after traveling to The Bluegrass State has the University of Kentucky in Lexington on her radar.
Porter received a certificate from KSU for her two-week training. She said she’s already begun planning another similar training next summer through AgDiscovery — one that is be held in Arkansas — with a group of girls she just recently met.
Next year’s focus is also on vet medicine, but includes business in agriculture, with some study of work with crops.
Business in agriculture is something Porter already knows something about. She’s been involved in 4-H for years. This year, she’s showing at both the San Miguel Basin Fair in July and the Colorado State Fair later, with a variety of steers, a heifer, pigs and lambs she’s raised.
Porter will also be competing in the junior rodeo July 29 in Norwood, after purchasing a new horse. She’ll be riding a palomino paint for barrels, poles and flags.
In her spare time this summer, she plans on working for a local vet clinic. She was set to start work on Tuesday of this week, but said she didn’t want to comment on details since her onboarding process was not complete. She said the work is something she’s hoping she can continue through high school as part of a work-study program.