“I was born for agriculture. I can’t imagine myself in any other sector. This is my calling,” says veterinarian Dr Princess Moswa-Kato (38). Growing up on her father’s farm, Moswa-Kato knew she wanted to have a career in agriculture.
Today she is an animal health specialist at MSD Animal Health, and she’s really loving her job. “Patience is one of the key character traits to have if you’re thinking about stepping into these shoes one day,” she says.
This is another exciting career featured on Food for Mzansi and 19 radio stations all over the country presented as part of our AgriSETA Learner Connect campaign. Through AgriSETA Learner Connect, we want to support as well as guide learners to fill the scarce and critical jobs in the agricultural sector.
If you missed any of the radio interviews, our daily sessions are also easily downloadable on most of the major podcasts platforms where you already hang out. Scroll down to find the links to this episode. You can also search for AgriSETA Learner Connect on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. Alternatively, just listen right here, right now.
Dr Princess Moswa-Kato now breaks down all the need to know’s about the job as an animal heath specialist.
Could you sum up your job for us?
I have overall supervision of all sales activities in the KwaZulu-Natal province. I also coordinate technical and product support services to sales staff and our clients.
So, what does the day-to-day of your job entail?
Each day comes with its own challenges. This is mostly client technical support and follow-ups on daily orders, from liaison with farmers, as well as day-to-day support to my team in the region. There is never a dull day.
What qualification do you need for this career?
A qualification in agriculture, specifically animal health or veterinary sciences, is highly recommended.
What are the character traits you need to be great at your job?
Patience. A lot of it. And the skills to understand customer needs as we work daily with different people with different personalities and requirements. You have to understand that animals need to be kept healthy and protected against diseases and parasites. Be a solutions provider, and remember that sometimes solutions are needed in a matter of seconds.
What subjects do I need to become a animal heath specialist?
The entry qualification for university studies is a national senior certificate with a Bachelor’s pass. At university, you can also acquire Bachelor of Science degree.
What do you love about agriculture as a space to work in?
Agriculture has always been my first love, but animal health is the one I specialise in. I love a success story and a good outcome when working together with a farmer on a health programme that will keep his animal’s health and him making a profit. A happy farmer means a happy me.
Don’t be modest, tell us about your proudest career moments?
I think the one that stands out is having the opportunity to make the emerging realisation that they matter in the commercial sense of farming and always seeing that mindset change in them.
What do you do when you’re not at work?
I love shopping for anything, from shoes to gardening tools and spending time with my family and friends. Nothing beats a lekker South African braai.
Any advice for young people who are inspired by your career story here on AgriSETA Learner Connect?
Always follow your heart and do it for the love of it. Be the change you want to see in this world, especially for the animals and the farmers. Always strive to make a difference.
Where can I study to become an animal heath specialist?
The tricky thing is only one university in South Africa offers a degree in veterinary science – the faculty of veterinary science at the University of Pretoria. Veterinarians who qualify outside the country can be registered to practise in South Africa only if they pass a special examination. Admission to the veterinary science programme at University of Pretoria’s Onderstepoort campus is by selection as the number of places in the programme is limited. Click here for detailed admission details.