The world of agriculture is always changing. From new technologies, to new cultivation’s, to new faces! With that being said, Western Illinois University’s School of Agriculture is changing too! After the 2015-2016 school year, the Ag department had to say goodbye to animal science professor, Dr. Sam Cunningham. It was a hard ‘see ya later’ to Sam, but the show had to go on. For the 2016-2017 school year, the Ag department welcomed back a familiar face. Filling in part time is Dr. Jamie McClure. Since this was a new face to us, people have been very curious about who Dr. McClure was, including myself. I fortunately had a great opportunity to ask Dr. McClure some questions that were buzzing around in my head.
Dr. McClure grew up in a small town called Sparland, Illinois (she graduated high school with 19 kids to be exact), which is roughly two hours from Macomb. She also spent a lot of her childhood on her grandparent’s farm so agriculture was nothing new to her. After high school, Dr. McClure traveled from Sparland to good ol’
Macomb! She began here at WIU majoring in Biology with a minor in Chemistry and Animal Science in hopes of becoming a Veterinarian. She then decided to further her education during her junior year at the University of Illinois, where she then continued on to veterinarian school. She couldn’t stay away from Macomb too long though, because her husband Matt is from Macomb. They live here with their four children, three dogs, three cats, and one hamster.
From a young age, Dr. McClure always knew she wanted to be a veterinarian. She has been a working vet for fifteen years now. Growing up around agriculture, her first intentions were to be a mixed animal veterinarian. Well sometimes life has other plans for you and when Dr. McClure moved, the area was not in demand for mixed animal vets. So instead she decided to be a small animal vet. She uses her knowledge and experience as a veterinarian in class to help her students see it from her side.
“I want to bring a veterinarian’s perspective to the classes I teach. I hope to teach my students the basics of animal science, health, and medicine from a veterinarian’s perspective so that they can apply that knowledge to their daily lives as a livestock producer. I want them to not only learn what to do for their animals but why they need to do it that way.”
Since visiting Western as a senior in high school, Dr. McClure has really enjoyed it here. When Dr. Baker asked her to fill the position to teach animal science classes, she hopped on board. Dr. McClure has even expressed how welcoming the School of Ag has been to her! Even though Dr. McClure’s time teaching here at Western will be short, she will leave us with a little bit of advice:
“Do the work, show up to class and pay attention. Take notes and ask questions. Prioritize your school work over socializing. Put away your cell phones. Make an effort to excel in whatever you do–what you put into your education is what you will get of it.”
My name is Lisa Frieders. I am a senior studying Agriculture Business with an emphasis in Animal Science and graduating in December of 2016. I am from Aurora, Illinois and the first in my family to be involved in the Agriculture industry. I am currently the Public Relations chair for my professional agriculture sorority, Sigma Alpha. I am also the Public Relations chair for the Sportsman’s Club. When I have extra down time, I like to hunt, trap shoot, shoot my bow, and do anything outdoors!