Love for animals sets career path for Meridian teen

Kristin Nesbitt brands, castrates and vaccinates cows on her family farm. And she enjoys it, which is why she wants to be a veterinarian.

The Meridian High senior, who owns a 4.18 weighted grade-point average, will graduate this week at the top of her class of 348 seniors.

“Animals are my passion,” Nesbitt said.

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Nesbitt is headed to the University of Idaho to study animal science and pre-veterinary.

“I’m ready for an adventure,” Nesbitt said.

Animals have always been a part of Nesbitt’s life. She grew up around a family-owned ranch in Ola with nearly 250 cows. Her parents have three horses, two sheep, two dogs and three cows on their Eagle property.

Nesbitt considered being a veterinarian at age of 6. But a first-grade tour at the University of Idaho Caine Teaching Center unveiled the job’s realities.

“After seeing the sad looking animals and the organs in jars, I no longer wanted this career path,” Nesbitt said. “The tour gave me a sense of what veterinarians actually do.”

As she aged, and gained more exposure to veterinary science, her passion for saving animals returned. Throughout her high school career she took agricultural science classes and shadowed a local veterinarian.

“I know being a veterinarian would be the best fit for me because I have directly seen what a veterinarian does on a daily basis,” Nesbitt said. “My focus is on large animal species.”

For nearly 10 years she has shown livestock at the Western Idaho Fair, Canyon County Fair and Meridian Dairy Days, winning five grand championships.

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Nesbitt is a varsity runner on the cross country and track teams, a member of 4-H, Future Farmers of America, National Honors Society and has more than 300 hours of community service at St. Luke’s Hospital where she helped with surgery waiting, reception and pediatric playroom.

“These groups have expanded her areas of interest and fortified her passion to be successful,” said Steve Wilder, the agricultural science teacher at Meridian High. “Above all she is a polite, competent, motivated young lady.”

Nesbitt was awarded more than 25 scholarships ranging from $400 to $4,000 — including the Idaho Governor’s Cup ScholarshipP.E.O. STAR Scholarship and the Star Mayor’s Scholarship. The money will cover her tuition and housing throughout college.

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Fun facts about Kristin

  • Favorite drink? Strawberry banana smoothie
  • Favorite sport to watch? Football
  • What are the first three songs on your current music playlist? “Upside Down” by Jack Johnson, “Wouldn’t it be nice” by the Beach Boys and “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay
  • You just got a free plane ticket to go anywhere. Where are you going? Rome, Italy
  • Three things you can’t live without? Family, friends and a good laugh
  • Who is your favorite teacher? Meridian High School agricultural science teacher, Steve Wilder