Merck Animal Health (known as MSD Animal Health outside the USA and Canada) announced a $100,000 sponsorship to the University of Georgia – College of Veterinary Medicine, Athens, Georgia during an award presentation at last week’s International Production & Processing Expo. The sponsorship will provide educational support to a student attending the College’s Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center (PDRC) over a three-year period.

The sponsorship award recipient, Grace Ashby, is a doctoral candidate whose passion for advancing poultry health, production and management led to her 2014 acceptance to PDRC. Ashby earned a B.S.A. in avian biology from the University of Georgia, has served as a poultry surgery teaching assistant and completed internships at the Georgia Poultry Laboratory Network in Oakwood, Ga., and Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation in Athens, Ga. Ashby looks forward to continuing her education through research and contributing to the development of new vaccine methods and respiratory health.

“Merck Animal Health is proud to invest in the future of the veterinary profession,” said Dr. Charlie Broussard, Associate Director, Scientific Marketing Affairs, Merck Animal Health. “We are committed to the science of healthier animals and believe this sponsorship will help prepare students for their careers and contribute to advancements in poultry health and performance.”

In addition to training students, the Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center also conducts research on the diagnosis and control of poultry diseases and provides field services to the poultry.

“We are pleased to receive this scholarship from Merck Animal Health,” said Dr. Mark W. Jackwood, the J.R. Glisson Professor of Veterinary Medicine and Head of the Department of Population Health at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. “These funds will help us continue to provide in the industry. The Center’s three-fold mission of teaching, research and service, helps prepare students for careers in research and medicine, while also addressing problems of importance to the poultry industry for our students with the education and experience they need for a successful career in avian medicine, as well as offering valuable research and services to the poultry industry.”

Every year, Merck Animal Health collaborates with numerous educational and veterinary organizations to ensure the advancement of animal health. This sponsorship program is part of a broader commitment to education, students and the future of the industry.