VERO: A Partnership Founded On Veterinary Educational Excellence

Dr. Ashlee Ambs in front of Dimmitt Veterinary Clinic
Dr. Ashlee Ambs

By Dr. Dan Posey, Director of Student Recruitment & Professional Relations, Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Canyon campus

Some partnerships just make sense, and when collaborations of the right caliber go well, they make the world a better place. 

The Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences’ (VMBS) Veterinary Education, Research, & Outreach (VERO) initiative found its roots in our partnership with the West Texas A&M University (WT) Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, and because of this partnership, VERO has grown with tremendous success over the past seven years.

VERO addresses the continual need for veterinarians who are skilled in mixed animal medicine and who understand the unique needs of agricultural industries and rural communities. Our relationship with WT creates unique opportunities for VERO faculty and students to work with high school and undergraduate students who possess a passion for rural agriculture and who are interested in becoming rural veterinarians. 

Our outreach efforts introduce prospective veterinary students in the Texas Panhandle Plains to the unique demands of veterinary school, the skills and knowledge required to attend a top-tier Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program like Texas A&M’s, and the lifestyle they can expect upon graduation in the rural veterinary field. 

Through our partnership, VERO has established a pipeline for WT and Panhandle students who want to attend vet school at Texas A&M. These efforts include VMBS faculty members teaching and working with WT undergraduate students in extracurricular activities, which has resulted in admissions to the VMBS from the Texas Panhandle region tripling since VERO was established. Greater enrollment of students who intend to serve the Texas Panhandle upon graduation from the VMBS is helping supply veterinarians eager to serve in traditionally underserved rural communities. 

These efforts serve the animal agriculture industries that drive the economy here in the Texas Panhandle and help feed the world. They have also empowered people like Dr. Ashlee Ambs to become veterinarians and return to their home communities as veterinarians who understand and are specially trained to meet the demands of the area. 

Ambs was the president of the DVM Class of 2022, but her passion for serving her Panhandle community started long before she enrolled in Texas A&M’s veterinary program. I met her when she was completing her master’s degree at WT and have been honored to be part of her veterinary career ever since.

Ashlee Ambs as a student in front of a feedlot

Her perspective of the VMBS partnership with WT was informed not only by her experiences as a veterinary student but by her relationship with me and Dr. Dee Griffin, with whom she worked as one of VERO’s first student employees as we were establishing the program in 2016.  

“The beginnings of the VERO program took an amazing agriculture program at WT and integrated veterinary medicine like it never had before to allow us WT pre-veterinary students the experience and recognition we deserved in the Panhandle,” she recalled. “In those early years, Dr. Posey was working to establish relationships with mixed animal practices in the Panhandle for the benefits students experience today, through externships, internships, and fourth-year veterinary rotations. 

“One of those clinics, Dimmitt Veterinary Clinic, is one of the few true mixed practices in the area,” she continued. “I fell in love with the community and practice while working there with Dr. Posey. This is where I decided to start and spend my career as a veterinarian. 

“Now we see VERO students regularly, and it is amazing to see the results of the program’s outreach efforts affect many young veterinarians the same way that it helped me,” she said. “We look forward to regularly hosting professors and students from VERO at the clinic. Without Dr. Posey’s outreach and the relationship he had with our clinic, my career would not be the same. I am forever grateful.”

Not only is she an amazing person and veterinarian, but Dr. Ambs perfectly encapsulates all that we set out to do at VERO. 

By taking advantage of the internships, externships, and clinical rotations we host at VERO, she deepened her connection to a community she already loved, and now, as a veterinarian in Dimmitt, she is paying that love forward by caring for the community’s animals—and, by extension, for the people who love those animals.


For more information about the Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, please visit our website at or join us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Contact Information: Jennifer Gauntt, Director of VMBS Communications, Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences,, 979-862-4216

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