Hannah Lee

Hannah Lee will be graduating in May 2023 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science with the Animal Management concentration. Raised in the suburban town of Burlington, Massachusetts, she planned to become a biology major at UMass with the intention of going to medical school, but she changed her major to pursue a career working with animals. Her motivation stemmed from volunteering at her high school’s science center, where she learned husbandry for invertebrates, reptiles, small animals, and various birds of prey. 

With no background regarding what the animal science program would entail, Hannah did not expect to be shopping for boots and coveralls, let alone stepping foot into a livestock barn! In the spring of her freshman year, she enrolled in the Boer Goat Management class, where she assisted with both lambing and kidding for the first time, this influenced her decision to stay in the animal science major. 

When COVID sent everyone home, Hannah began working as a veterinary assistant at a low-cost vaccination clinic that serviced most of New England. She learned proper restraint of animals, prepared vaccinations, and educated owners about the importance of vaccines, flea and tick prevention, and welfare. She also gained rodent experience at Charles River Laboratories as an Animal Care Technician, caring for genetically modified rats and mice in sterile isolators. 

In the summer of 2021, Hannah began working at the UMass Hadley Farm with Livestock Barn Manager, Alice Newth. Hannah cared for the flock of Dorset sheep and the Boer goat herd, assisted in handling, pasture rotation, lambing and kidding, injections, and other livestock management practices. She also aided Dr. Beltaire during various procedures including surgical castration and artificial insemination. Hannah was offered a position as a Boer Goat Management Teaching Assistant. In this position she presented lectures and labs, taught hands-on skills such as fecal counts and hoof trimmings, and assisted in kiddings. She was also allowed to learn and perform artificial insemination on the Boer does in the fall. Being a teaching assistant allowed Hannah to overcome her fears of public speaking and engage in her love for teaching.

Hannah also began working with pigs at Parsons & Sons Farm in Hadley. With around 900 pigs and over 300 litters a year, she grew her skills in processing piglets, vaccinating sows, blood draws, and treating dystocia. Working at both a teaching farm and a production farm has given Hannah valuable insight regarding various livestock management techniques that she could not have learned elsewhere.

Hannah would like to thank all the professors, faculty, and friends that have supported her throughout her journey at UMass. Alice Newth, Steph Puro, Dr. Beltaire, and Meg Gennings have all been amazing mentors and supporters of Hannah’s endeavors. Hannah is especially grateful to all the staff at the Hadley Farm for all that she has learned over the years. 

Hannah is currently applying to jobs working with livestock, with an interest in goats and swine. In the future, she is looking forward to applying to vet school with an interest in teaching. She encourages anyone who may be unsure about their passion to explore the immense opportunities at UMass both in and out of the VASCI program and take a leap of faith!