Dean J. Monti
One way to invest in the future is to instill and promote the right values in youth. With this in mind, the National Livestock Ethics Council's "Just Do The Right Thing!" campaign will address issues of youth livestock ethics and food animal quality assurance, and their importance to the animal agriculture industry.
The Executive Board approved a contribution of $2,000 per year for the next three years for a total of $6,000 to sponsor the campaign. Other groups, such as Purina Mills Inc and the Animal Industry Foundation, have also pledged support.
As defined on promotional campaign materials being distributed to heighten awareness of the issue, the "right thing" includes three main points: to avoid wrongdoing when competing in livestock exhibitions, not to be pressured into participating in unethical practices, and never to compromise the welfare of the animal.
The campaign already received positive response at the 1998 National Future Farmers of America Convention. The council received words of thanks from convention participants for "stepping up" and taking the initiative to do something positive in the show ring.
Another project that represents youth outreach is the Veterinary Explorer Award, established by the AVMA in 1988. The Boy Scouts of America Council reviews the applications and forwards the names of the finalists to the AVMA for review and decision.
The award consists of $500 and a plaque. Whenever possible, the award is presented at a regular meeting of the post to which the winner belongs, by the AVMA Executive Board member for that district.
One of the goals of the award is to recruit highly motivated, quality students into veterinary medicine. This year the board approved a recommendation from the Council on Public Relations to present the Explorer Award to three individuals who are well on their way to making inroads into the veterinary community.
Amanda Cox, Lilburn, Ga, has been an active charter member of Explorer post 547 since 1994. Most of her accomplishments are intertwined with her love of science, animals, and community service. She was one of five recipients of the 1998 National Young American Award, given by the BSA Advisory Council. Amanda has received two National 4-H Awards and is a four-time State 4-H winner.
Amy Hellinger, Mattydale, NY, is an active member of Explorer post 519. She was involved in projects relating to animal health as a member of the Burnett Park Zoo Explorer post in Syracuse, NY, and worked as a biology laboratory assistant at the Cicero-North Syracuse High School.
Julie Hunt, Wadsworth, Ohio, was involved with increasing awareness about pet dental health through her Explorer post at Metropolitan Animal Hospital in Copley, Ohio. She has also devoted time to animal health and community service. Julie has become certified in animal handling and assisted in a study of hypertension in animals.