Meet USDA Intern – Trusten Moore


My name is Trusten Moore and I am a senior, majoring in Animal & Dairy Sciences, from Batesville, MS. I live in Starkville with my golden retriever, Oakley (pictured with me), and my friend Tarver that I met in State Singers- our university choir. Starkville has become my Trusten_profilesecond home, and I will miss when the time comes to move away, but who cares about the sappy stuff! Let us focus on my experiences while I am here!

During our childhood, we all have been asked one common question: ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ I remember being asked this question when I was in kindergarten, shortly after taking a class tour of a local veterinary hospital down the road from our school. The obvious answer was to be a veterinarian! Little did I know, while taking that tour that I would find myself working at that very same animal clinic in high school. I worked as a veterinary assistant for three years at South Panola Veterinary Hospital, under the guidance of Dr. Sharp and Dr. Newcomb. During the end of my senior year, my schedule became so busy that I had to resign. A year later, I began working at Family Pet Hospital, also located in Batesville. I embraced the new work place and the new learning experiences; however, I still held SPVET close to my heart. To this very day, I have upheld my position at Family Pet working under Drs. Unruh, and this upcoming fall will mark my third year with them and sixth year total of working at a small animal hospital.

If you ask me today what I want to be when I grow up, I will still respond with ‘a veterinarian.’ So what does working with corn have to do with becoming a vet? Believe it or not, quite a lot, actually! Veterinarians are scientists that are charged with the task of providing animals with the best quality of life possible. In turn, that quality of life is sustained by proper nutrition, and corn itself is a substantial example of nourishment. So, by learning the genetic makeup of corn, we can help improve the quality of the crop; therefore, helping improve the product that our animals consume and ultimately the animal’s life as a whole.

This semester I have been given a one-of-a-kind opportunity to work in a lab with scientists for the USDA, studying the genetic makeup of Maize. Throughout the semester I will take on my own research under the guidance of Dr. Warburton and Dr. Haynes (pictured above). I will get the chance to learn how to map the location of a candidate gene in maize. I will broaden my knowledge of genetics by learning about Mendelian inheritance, linkage mapping, QTL mapping, and genetic sequencing, all while touching topics pertaining to plant breeding, bioinformatics, and molecular genetics.

I am so excited to take on this task, but I understand that this will be challenging, seeing that my last three years of college have been geared toward a more applied part of animal science. I will learn a lot and will be able to apply a great number of these methods towards animal research as well. This is going to be such a rewarding experience and will also be something that will strengthen my application for vet school this fall!

This is going to be an aMAIZEing experience, and I cannot wait for you to join me on this journey by keeping up with my weekly journals.

Signing out,

Trusten Moore

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