Growing up on a farm in Arkwright, Katie J. Ball DVM learned first-hand the importance of having an available veterinarian.
“We had an accident with a cow when I was younger and there wasn’t anyone to call,” she said. “That was when I decided to become a vet. I saw a real need in my community.”
Homeschooled, Ball says her parents wanted her, and her siblings, to have the best education possible. In addition to subjects all students learn in school, Ball’s parents instilled in their children practical life lessons as well as involved them in farm chores, which included baling hay, stacking wood and taking care of their animals.
“Working with your parents, you learn how to do all of these things,” Ball said. “My parents used any situation to teach us things.”
In 2002, Ball earned her Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the State University of New York College at Fredonia and began pursuing her degree in veterinary medicine at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts, West Indies. She finished her required clinical courses at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine and graduated with her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2006.
After working as an associate veterinarian for a large animal ambulatory practice from 2006-2010, Ball founded Arkwright Veterinary Services in 2010 to provide mobile routine and emergency veterinary services to horses and other large farm animals in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties. She continued to work part-time for a small animal general practice, until 2013, when she opened her small animal care clinic on her family farm, which she now owns, in Arkwright. This business, she says, allows her to treat her large animal clients’ small animals as well.
When asked for advice for students who might be considering a career in veterinary sciences, Ball is quick to remind students there is more to this career than just having a love for animals.
“You have to be a people person too, every animal comes attached to a human and you have to be prepared to give good news, and bad news,” Ball said.
This feature is part of a series focusing on residents who have received scholarships from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and have moved back to or remained in, the area to live and work. If you, or someone you know, received a scholarship from the Community Foundation and would like to be featured, contact Sarah Shelters at 661-3390 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Community Foundation is now accepting scholarship applications for the 2016-2017 school year. To qualify, students must have graduated from a Chautauqua County high school. Scholarships are offered to undergraduate and graduate students studying a variety of subjects and vocations at two-year or four-year colleges or universities.