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Kayla Blake, a third-year veterinary student from Mobile, Ala., is a 2017 recipient of the Merck Swine Veterinary Scholarship. She is among only five recipients awarded the scholarship worldwide.

Blake is pursuing a swine specialty in production animal veterinary medicine.

“I’m a true pig person,” she says. “I just love pigs and being around the people who raise and care for pigs.”

Growing up in one of the largest cities in the state of Alabama, Blake doesn’t have a farm or large animal background.

“I did not grow up on a farm and I did not have any experience with pigs before I got to Auburn,” Blake says.

She says that she always has enjoyed work that let her be outdoors. She acquired a passion for working with pigs as an undergraduate student in AU’s pre-veterinary Animal Sciences curriculum. Blake also holds a master’s degree from AU in Meat Sciences, focused on pork quality.

Her goal, she says, is to work in industrial medicine and perhaps later, in pharmaceuticals.

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