AETA 2014 Scholarship Winner Report: Peter Schmitt

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Published on: December 22, 2014

I would like to take this time to thank the committee for giving me the opportunity and financial support to attend the 2014 annual convention. I am both honored and humbled to be a scholarship recipient and it is an experience that I will not soon forget. The convention committee did a great job, and future convention sites will have a tough time following Madison’s lead.

It is hard for me to narrow down my favorite parts of the convention. The ET 101 sessions were excellent. I really enjoyed brushing up on embryo classification and grading, seeing the different methods of embryo collection, and practicing OPU/DFR using the cadaver ovaries. One of my favorite presentations of the weekend was the “History of Embryo Transfer.” It was great to hear how the association was formed and how far we have come since the beginning. I appreciate what the pioneers of our profession have done for us, and it was humbling to be in the room when the late Dr. Edwin Robertson was honored and Dr. John Hasler and Dr. Bob Rowe were presented with Lifetime Achievement Awards.

I thought that I had a pretty good understanding of embryo transfer. However, after listening to the speakers present many various topics, I realize that I only know a fraction of all that goes into creating a calf. Rather than being discouraged, I was excited and I cannot wait to learn more. I am really interested in the effects of AMH, influencing puberty in young heifers, fetal programming, and finding various ways to predict fertility and stimulation response. There was so much information presented, which opens up even more areas for investigation and understanding.

I really appreciate the facets of the convention that were designed for the students. The sessions had a nice mix of lecture and hands-on experience. The student luncheon was a great opportunity to hear from some practitioners about how their career evolved and valuable tips for us as new graduates. Overall, I really appreciate how many people were willing to introduce themselves and treated me like a colleague. The social and networking opportunity was great. From taking part in the golf outing at University Ridge, to the pre-conference social at the Minitube Century Barn, to the banquet, I was able to meet people from all over the country.

As I sit in the middle of fourth year, studying for boards, I find myself looking to the future. I have known for a long time that I want to become an AETA practitioner. By receiving the scholarship and attending the meeting, I know that I am one step closer to achieving that goal. All I can say is, thank you so much for including me, and I can’t wait until next year.

Peter Schmitt

Iowa State University Class of 2015

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