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Smith-Kilborne Program

The Smith-Kilborne Program is designed to acquaint veterinary students with various foreign animal diseases which potentially threaten our domestic animal population. The program includes both classroom presentations on diseases and their implications combined with laboratory experiences. Following the seminar, students are expected to share their new knowledge with others. The Smith-Kilborne Program is conducted at two locations: USDA Center at Riverside in Riverdale, MD, and the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, Plum Island, NY.

What is the Schedule?

First, students will travel to Washington, DC, on the Tuesday after Memorial Day. Classes and role-playing scenarios on foreign animal diseases and public health will be conducted at the USDA Center at Riverside from Wednesday through Friday. Saturday will be a free day in DC.  Next, on Sunday, students will travel by bus from Washington to the hotel in Connecticut.  Monday and Tuesday they will travel to the Plum Island Animal Disease Center where they will receive updates on research and diagnostic aspects of the most important foreign animal diseases, and participate in laboratory sessions for hands-on experience in recognizing foreign animal diseases and collecting samples. Students will depart on Wednesday.

Tuesday Fly in to Ronald Reagan National Airport, Washington, DC
Metro to Hotel
6:30pm: Opening and Welcome Dinner
Wednesday Classroom sessions at USDA Center at Riverside
Thursday Classroom sessions at USDA Center at Riverside
Friday Classroom sessions at USDA Center at Riverside
Saturday Free Day
Sunday Depart Washington by chartered bus. Check in to hotel in Mystic, CT
Monday Presentations and laboratory sessions at Plum Island Animal Disease Center
Tuesday Presentations and laboratory sessions at Plum Island Animal Disease Center
Wednesday Departure from TF Green Airport, Providence, RI

Are my expenses covered?

Yes! APHIS will pay all program-related expenses for the students. This includes travel to and from the program, meals, lodging, and tuition.  Reimbursement comes after the program, so students will need to bring enough cash to cover meals and incidental expenses during the program.

How do I apply?

The application and selection process are determined by each individual school. Look for an announcement from your Dean's office or your school's program contact sometime in the autumn of your second year. They will let you know what you need to do to apply and when it will be due.

Whom do I contact if I have questions?

You may contact Dr. Jason Baldwin, USDA, APHIS, Veterinary Services, Professional Development Staff by phone at (970) 494-7225, or by email at

What else do I need to know?

You will be required to observe a five-day quarantine period after you leave Plum Island. You will not be able to contact any livestock (cattle, sheep goats, deer and other ruminants, and swine), poultry, or pet birds for five days following your last day in the lab at Plum Island. Come prepared to learn and to have a lot of fun!

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