Stony Point, North Carolina
Dr. Amanda Whitener always had intentions of going into the equine large animal veterinary field, but while attending the University of Vermont she was able to work with dairy cattle and dairy farmers. The cattle initially sparked her interest in agriculture; however, she says the farmers inspired her passion for the dairy industry.
Upon graduating from North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Amanda and her husband Dr. Greg Whitener opened their mobile practice, Carolina Livestock Veterinary Services. The practice specializes in livestock animals such as beef and dairy cattle, sheep, goats, and other food animals. Amanda’s primary focus is working with producers on routine herd health, vaccination protocols, and proper medical practices. Her first priority is protecting the food supply.
The Whiteners have been members of Farm Credit for more than two years. Through Farm Credit, they have been able to finance their mobile veterinary practice. “It feels like a family and that is really important when choosing where to place your loans.” Amanda and her husband share the responsibilities of the workload, accounting, and business strategies. They have plans to expand their operation in the future.
Dr. Whitener is one of the few women in North Carolina that practices large animal veterinary medicine with a focus on food animals. Based on 2016 market research from the American Veterinary Medicine Association, only 22.8% of women veterinarians in the United States predominately practice food animal medicine. “A big challenge that I face when people first meet me is that they think I can’t do the same things as a man in veterinary medicine or that I’m not as strong.” Often times she is mistaken for a small animal or equine veterinarian. She has been able to overcome this obstacle with technology that is available and readily coming available as well as paying attention to detail. “It’s great to have a woman on the farm. Women tend to pay more attention to individual animal health and are often times more nurturing.”
Most women in agriculture understand that the road to success often has obstacles. “My recommendation for young women would be to work really hard and work with good people in your industry. Do not be scared to do the job. Be reliable, honest and show up.”
Through her passion for the dairy industry and working with farmers every day, Dr. Amanda Whitener has been able to face these challenges and successfully overcome them.