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SDSU Celebrates Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine Students with Blue Coat Ceremony

The second class of South Dakota State University Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine students was honored at a Blue Coat Ceremony on October 22, 2022, where each student was presented with a personalized blue Carhartt® work coat.
The blue coats are SDSU’s way of honoring students’ entrance into the veterinary medicine profession. Each coat is sponsored by a veterinarian from South Dakota or the surrounding region.
“This is a work coat that symbolizes the hard work you are doing both in veterinary school, but also in your career as a veterinarian,” said Russ Daly, SDSU professor, SDSU Extension Veterinarian and State Public Health Veterinarian. “It is a coat to keep you warm and remind you that there are people here to support you. The coats are from veterinarians who chose to purchase them just for you – this symbolizes a community of veterinarians who are behind you, and we hope you will wear these coats with pride for years to come.”
Erin Burton, Senior Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs for the University of Minnesota (UMN) College of Veterinary Medicine also conveyed positive messages to the students on behalf of the UMN.  The UMN College of Veterinary Medicine and SDSU partner together to offer the collaborative program, admitting 20 students per class to complete their first two years of veterinary school at SDSU in Brookings before finishing their last two years on the UMN campus in St. Paul.
“The blue Carhartt® coat is a symbol of the hard work and dedication that veterinary students exhibit while going through veterinary school and upon graduation as a veterinarian,” said Jessie Juarez, director of the SDSU Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine. “I am proud that each coat was sponsored by veterinarians from South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota who provided words of encouragement to our PPVM students during the ceremony.”
Veterinary students celebrated and presented with a blue coat at the ceremony include:
“The Blue Coat Ceremony was a tremendous success this year – we are building a proud tradition at SDSU that celebrates our students’ entrance into the Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine,” said Juarez. 
The Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine allows students to gain hands-on practical experience working with food and companion animals during their time at SDSU, while preparing to serve in critical roles across the spectrum of animal health, environmental health and public health.
To learn more about the Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine, contact Jessie Juarez at
Image for College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences


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