Food Animal Veterinary Student Feedlot Externship in Alberta


Each fall, Feedlot Health hosts three, one-week long student feedlot externships consisting of a complementary blend of both field and classroom activities. During the externship, fourth year veterinary students participate in a program developed by the professional consulting team of veterinarians and PhD animal scientists at Feedlot Health. The object of this program is to provide a focused, cutting edge, high-level student externship opportunity in a private veterinary business, which is an important real world component for augmenting University-based veterinary curricula.

Classroom sessions provide background information on various topics pertaining to feedlot medicine, production, management, and business. Field activities compliment what is learned in the classroom and students are exposed to day-to-day feedlot operations, gain an improved understanding of the  production system, and obtain hands on experience in performing selected animal health and veterinary procedures. Specific topics covered throughout the week include, but are not limited to:

  • Sick animal disease detection
  • Developing disease prevention strategies
  • Field necropsy techniques
  • Feedlot nutrition
  • Performance enhancement products
  • Feedlot epidemiology
  • Bovine slaughter facilities
  • Cow/calf consulting
  • Management of chronically ill animals
  • The business of producing beef
  • Data based decision making
  • The Feedlot Health business model
  • Animal welfare in the feedlot
  • Cattle procurement and marketing methods
  • The role of the veterinarian as a leader in the beef business
  • Employment as food animal veterinarian


Students also have the opportunity to participate in targeted discussion sessions with Feedlot Health veterinarians, production consultants, and personnel, as well as feedlot personnel throughout the week.

How to Apply

The externship runs during the last week in October, and the first two weeks in November. Over the three weeks, seven partner Universities select up to four students each to join the program. Feedlot Health also selects up to four wildcard students per week from any University to travel to the Okotoks, Alberta office and participate in the rotation.

Students interested in applying as a wildcard should contact Ms. Marissa Lemay by emailing to acquire an application for consideration. Interested veterinary students must then submit the completed application form, along with a resume and letter of interest. Wildcard selections will be made on or before May 1st of the corresponding year.