Originally from Jemez Valley, New Mexico, Sage Mijares grew up in the agricultural ranching industry and loved it so much that she left her town to pursue her passions in livestock production and public health.
“I was so excited to come to CSU, but I owe everything to the animal sciences department,” Mijares says. “My entire town could have fit into my first-year biology class lecture, and I never could have transitioned so well without their support.”
Over the last four years, Mijares, who is part of CSU’s Honors Program, has been involved in several campus clubs and activities, including serving on the CSU Seedstock Merchandising Team, working at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and interning in several labs.
“My experience on the Seedstock Team just reaffirmed my love for the livestock industry,” Mijares says. “As a part of the team, I was able to help raise and sell cattle from CSU, so I did basically everything from halter breaking to showing at the National Western Stock Show.”
Mijares says that working with livestock in her early years is what motivated her to continue studying and working in the meat production and livestock industry, adding that CSU introduced her to the core of that industry.
At the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Mijares worked in the livestock department as a veterinary technician. There, she was able to get hands-on training assisting with procedures on different animals, similar to the experiences she had on her ranch back home.
In the Microbial Ecology Lab, Mijares studied antibiotic resistance in meat, and how the resistance moves through the food chain. She now works in the Livestock Behavior and Welfare Lab, overseen by Animal Sciences Professor Temple Grandin and Assistant Professor of Animal Sciences Lily Edwards-Callaway.
“I really want to pursue public health and regulatory medicine,” Mijares says. “My long-term goal is to be a veterinarian with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and work in epidemiology.”
Mijares is interested in studying epidemiology to better understand the impacts of disease on public health and the livestock industry. She has secured a summer job in Wildlife Services at the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
Mijares says she will be working with farmers and ranchers to develop plans for mitigating wildlife damage on their property. This will involve focusing on wildlife that is destroying property or potentially carrying diseases harmful to their environment.
“I’m thrilled to be working in this position because I’ll be getting to help people all summer,” she says. “And I hope to make great connections at APHIS and the USDA that I can work with after my four-year vet program.”
Mijares will graduate this May with a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences and will begin CSU’s Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program this fall.