Rathbun Angus affects future doctors

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Students step off a tour bus at Rathbun Angus Ranch.

MOSES LAKE - A medical student tour of Rathbun Angus Ranch could

influence future doctors' decisions.

About 160 first-year and second-year osteopathic medical

students from Yakima's Pacific Northwest University of Health

Sciences visited the Moses Lake ranch this week as part of an area

tour of businesses.

MOSES LAKE - A medical student tour of Rathbun Angus Ranch could influence future doctors' decisions.

About 160 first-year and second-year osteopathic medical students from Yakima's Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences visited the Moses Lake ranch this week as part of an area tour of businesses.

They also saw Avila Dairy in Quincy, potato processors Skone & Connors and Washington Potato in Warden, and Skone & Connors apple orchard in Royal City.

Greg and Jennifer Rathbun, owners of Rathbun Angus Ranch, met the students.

"We think it's a good opportunity to meet people from outside the industry," he said.

He explained to students how technology is used in a safe, humane way for the environment and people.

He also commented how medical students influence peoples' health decisions.

"We take for granted that most of America doesn't see agriculture," Greg said.

Also, agriculture has changed dramatically over the years, which many do not realize.

He also spoke about technology the ranch uses to breed cattle such as artificial insemination and embryo transfer; how they apply available tools to raise crops - remote telemetry; and an electronic cattle identification system used by the ranch.

Ultrasounds are used for pregnant cattle and to measure meat quality in nonpregnant cattle, which the operation has done for 10 years.

"We're very fortunate here," Greg says. "It's nice to promote and be ambassadors to the industry."

The university's dean, Dr. Robyn Phillips-Madsen, said the tour was fun and the group was having a great time.

A good percentage of the students hadn't been to a farm.

But more than 30 percent of the students are from rural areas.

The school's mission is to increase the number of primary care providers, including those in rural areas and under served populations.

There's a significant work force shortage for physicians in rural areas, as many want to move to cities.

Students need to see what the benefits of living outside the city are.

"This is one of the ways we're doing that," she said.

The Grant County Farm Bureau and Washington Farm Bureau's Young Farmer and Rancher Committee provided the tour.

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