A day in the life of LAWRENCE BROWN
Veterinarian and Consultant
"I speak with a number of investors and they are all talking about sustainability. A report commissioned by the Business and Sustainable Development Commission showed that meeting the challenges of the food and agriculture sectors sustainably could unlock opportunities worth US$2.3 trillion annually by 2030. That is a lot of opportunity."
Describe your current role and professional interests?
Veterinarian and consultant, motivated by innovation and investment to promote animal health and sustainable food production. I'm currently an Animal Sciences & Aquaculture Sector Specialist at the Department for International Trade.
When did you know you wanted to work in the veterinary profession?
I was strong at sciences and spent my summers working on farms, so the career path I've chosen made sense from as early as I can remember. In retrospect, I think the opportunity to discover the real-world applications for science appealed to me more than clinical practice itself. It came as no surprise that I was drawn to the commercial aspects of animal health early on in my veterinary training and career.
What is your favourite part of the job?
Over the last 18 months, I've been privileged to witness the latest innovations in animal health - it is an incredibly exciting time for the sector. Technological advancements have coincided with a heightened demand for products and services that optimise animal health, welfare and sustainable food production. I'm just grateful to be at the forefront of it all with some of the contract work I'm currently undertaking.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
This is genuinely a very difficult question to answer. The last 18 months have been a fantastic opportunity to extend my network, learn, travel and develop personally. You learn to take the rough with the smooth if it is part of a bigger plan. I love motivational quotes (I'm a bit sad like that) and one of my favourites is "If you know the why, you can live any how."
How do veterinary professionals currently help to drive sustainability?
As a member of the British Veterinary Association's Scottish Council, I was really impressed with their stance on ensuring animal welfare is priority as part of sustainable agriculture initiatives. The BVA has set out 8 specific recommendations to enable the veterinary profession and other key stakeholders to contribute to the sustainable animal agriculture agenda.
What do you feel are the major opportunities to drive sustainability in the veterinary sector?
I speak with a number of investors and they are all talking about sustainability. A report commissioned by the Business and Sustainable Development Commission showed that meeting the challenges of the food and agriculture sectors sustainably could unlock opportunities worth US$2.3 trillion annually by 2030. That is a lot of opportunity.
Do you have any good work-life balance tips?
Exercise fixes everything. It gets your head right, encourages you to eat better and combats stress. Set yourself a challenging fitness goal every year, to give yourself something to aim for. I'm hoping to complete my first half-ironman next summer. In order to have enough time in the day to exercise, work and spend with family, I would encourage you to get up early, avoid procrastinating and ensure 7+ hours sleep.
What are your top tips for veterinary professionals wishing to take the first steps to drive sustainability in their roles?
I think like anything, it is about leading by example. I believe one should set their own house in order before criticising others. This can be applied to acting in a more sustainable manner, as well as other facets of life.
If you could wave a magic wand and make one improvement to drive the sustainability impact of the veterinary profession, what would it be?
I hate seeing litter and waste. So, I guess it would be to encourage people to recycle and use resources responsibly.