MARTIN, Tenn. – The Weakley County Farmers Co-op has established a veterinary science professorship at the University of Tennessee at Martin. The Weakley County Farmers Cooperative Professorship in Veterinary Science will fund an additional veterinary science faculty member whose duties will include a 50% university teaching appointment. The reminder of the professorship will be focused on service to the cooperative and its members. The partnership will promote and develop agriculture education, research and outreach in Weakley County and surrounding communities. Dr. Amber Moore has accepted the professorship appointment and will start work in January. She is a Crockett County native and graduate of both UT Martin and UT College of Veterinary Medicine.
“This position will be a great example of the value of public-private partnerships and the benefits they can have on education and the community,” said Dr. Jason Roberts, professor of animal science and veterinary technology program director. “Weakley County Farmers Co-op is committed to supporting UT Martin not only though this professorship, but also through internships and scholarships.”
Paul Wilson, Weakley County Farmers Co-op general manager, said that the partnership, approved by the Co-op board, is “a very good opportunity to help the community, help the members of Weakley Farmers Co-op and help the university.” He also noted that while the Co-op is often known for its service to row-crop production, this partnership shows a commitment to the livestock community as well. “I think this is a huge step in showing our members and the community that we’re invested in all types of agriculture,” he said.
Co-op board member Chris Fowler, of Fowler Farms, sees a mutually beneficial relationship growing from Co-op’s investment. “I just think that any time the university gets an opportunity to partner with a local business, like Co-op, that’s a great opportunity, and on our end – the producer end – anytime we can get access to that kind of expertise, I think that really improves our operations as individuals, so I think it’s going to be a great partnership.”
Roberts said the addition of Moore brings to five the total number of veterinarians teaching in the university’s Veterinary Science and Technology Program. “It (the addition of Moore) will be a great benefit to UT Martin and all of our students in agriculture and specifically majors in veterinary science and technology,” Roberts said. “This partnership will provide great opportunities for students to gain hands-on, real-world experience while providing service and consulting to Weakley County Farmers Co-op members.”
Moore credits her UT Martin experience for success in veterinary school and private practice. She looks forward to both working with university students and engaging with the Weakley County community through the Co-op portion of the professorship. “Large-animal medicine and management is my favorite part of the veterinary medicine,” she said. “This position was perfect for me because it allows me to still use my veterinary knowledge to teach students and help producers at the same time.”