A large animal veterinarian working in Chesley is this year's recipient of the Grey Bruce Farmer's Week Prize.
Dr. Jacques Van Zyl was presented with the prize on June 20th at the OVC Class of 2020 virtual Veterinary Oath Ceremony.
The annual $1,000 prize in conjunction with the University of Guelph's Ontario Veterinary College recognizes new veterinarians entering food animal practices serving producers in Grey and Bruce Counties.
Farmer's Week Coordinator Lori Smith says the award recognizes a person's past accomplishments, and also encourages their future contributions and commitment to rural communities.
Smith says Van Zyl was born in South Africa and moved to Saskatchewan with his family as a small child where they had a farm. They moved to Ontario when he was in Grade 4. Growing up he worked in Conservation and also went to South Africa where he helped out on a rare game farm and also worked with a veterinarian darting animals from helicopters, before he decided to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.
Van Zyl is currently working for both a large animal clinic and a small animal clinic.
The large animal clinic that has hired him is Metzger Veterinary Services. He is based out of their Chesley clinic.
According to Smith, Van Zyl says being out on the road in the countryside is a hard office to beat and finds it rewarding to help producers, adding veterinarians are directly influencing the farmers' livelihoods and he's looking forward to interacting with the producers he knows from his childhood.