An animal science major takes on the role of lead shepherd in the sheep unit

Michelle Borges story

Growing up around farming throughout his father’s career, Manny Lopez became passionate about veterinary science.

His father worked as a farm laborer on a cattle farm and as a mechanic on a farm in his area. Raised in the small town of Smith Valley, Nevada, Lopez also worked on that farm during her high school summer and winter breaks, ranging from landscaping to vaccination.

Lopez became an active member of his high school’s FFA chapter, which also led to the career interest he has today. He has held leadership positions and participated in horse judging and veterinary science career development events. With the veterinary science team, Lopez was able to compete at the national level.

“I have always been interested in breeding. It has always been one of my passions to work with animals and help others,” Lopez said.

Lopez’s sophomore year of high school was her first tour of Chico State. He enjoyed the campus, the community and the university farm. While visiting the farm, Lopez met Sheep Unit Counselor Professor Celina Phillips, who offered her a job and was instrumental in her transition from high school to college. Lopez has worked in the sheep unit since her freshman year of college.

“He is currently our senior shepherd at the Sheep Unit and has been a steadfast student leader over the past year of the pandemic. During our virtual learning period, Emmanuel supported the faculty whenever there was a need to film or take photos. His commitment to the sheep unit and his education is exemplary,” said Phillips.

This summer, Lopez interned at a local veterinary clinic to gain hands-on veterinary experience. He followed the employees and learned more about handling cattle. He returned to work at the sheep unit at the start of the fall semester.

“Working at the sheep unit has been a fun and educational experience,” Lopez said. “The group is very united and I enjoy working with all the other students.”

All of her courses helped solidify her passion for veterinary science. One of Lopez’s favorite classes was “Veterinary Practices” (ANSC 160) with Josh Brownfield. This class confirmed his passion for wanting to become a veterinarian.

“I would like to attend vet school at UC Davis or maybe Texas A&M in hopes of becoming a top animal science vet in my hometown,” Lopez said.

Professors Phillips, Kasey DeAtley and Kate Moore have all been strong figures in Lopez’s college career. He said he could count on them for guidance and knows they are always looking for his success.

Lopez’s high school agriculture teacher, Charmayne Mitchell, also remains an influential person in her life. She helped spark his interest in the field of agriculture and supported his dream of becoming a large animal veterinarian.

One of Lopez’s favorite experiences at the College of Agriculture is helping out at the FFA field day. He enjoys working with high school students who want to learn more about the agriculture industry and see their aspirations grow.

Lopez is involved with the Rangeland Management Club, the Chico Sheep Association and the Pre-Vet Club. In his spare time, he enjoys playing guitar and piano and learning new languages. He is currently studying French and American Sign Language.

Lopez said the College of Agriculture faculty transformed his experience at Chico State and he looks forward to the rest of his undergraduate career. This spring, he received a Lt. Robert Merton Rawlins Achievement Award — one of the largest and most prestigious in the state of Chico — which celebrates scholarship, extracurricular activities, and academic and career achievement. exceptional.

“Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone,” Lopez advises incoming students. “Your fear is temporary, and you never know if you’ll find something you like if you don’t take risks.”