A last minute decision to switch her field of study changed Amy Birch's life forever.
After graduating high school in 2015, Ms Birch planned on being a dentist, but something happened that would shape her into the vet she is today.
She decided to defer her university studies and take a gap year, working at the local pharmacy and family Droughtmaster and Fleckvieh stud.
"It was during that time that I realised I really did love the science and medicine field, but I also really love livestock, and so I thought that it would be a good way to put them together," Ms Birch said.
"I only decided to apply for vet a couple of weeks before the applications closed during my gap year, because I had a different career path in mind. It was a bit last minute."
Now, after graduating with a bachelor's degree of veterinary science from The University of Queensland's Gatton campus, Ms Birch, 24, is six months into clinical practice at Dalby and says it's the perfect fit for her.
And to reinforce that she made the right call, she was recently presented with a prestigious national award at the Australian Veterinary Association annual conference in May.
The Don Kerr Veterinary Student Award is awarded to a final year veterinary student from a veterinary school in recognition of academic achievement and exceptional commitment to cattle medicine.
"I knew I had been nominated, but it's open to all the vet schools in Australia, so I knew that it would still be pretty stiff competition. I was surprised and really grateful when I heard that I had won it," Ms Birch said.
Ms Birch grew up on a cattle property near Taroom before moving to the Droughtmaster stud at Monto at the age of nine.
She recalls spending plenty of time in the yards helping her parents Douglas and Juanita and three sisters, Sarah, Megan and Melissa, and eventually started showing cattle in 2009.
That upbringing rubbed off on her siblings as well, with Sarah working as a vet nurse before caring for her young family and Megan currently a vet nursing in Biloela.
Ms Birch jumped into her new career in January at Knox Veterinary at Dalby - a whirlwind experience ever since.
"It's definitely a steep learning curve and I think sometimes it does feel a little bit like you're on a treadmill and it keeps going faster and faster, but that's just the nature of the work," she said.
Knox deals with small animal consults, large animal consults and surgery, and assigns its vets to those tasks each day.
"I do love working with a variety of species, but the days that I do either cattle or horse work - even if they're longer days - I definitely don't feel as drained," Ms Birch said.
"I just find them much more energising and enjoyable and I really love being out on property and chatting to farmers.
"[It's about] knowing what their expectations are and knowing the challenges they face so you can provide advice which is realistic, while also trying to partner with them to achieve their production goals and the health goals of their herds."
The young vet has already been exposed to the most delicate tasks, sewing up a horse with a deep laceration on the weekend.
"It had this really large laceration on its thorax. It was about four centimetres deep and gaping quite a lot, but luckily not bleeding too badly," she said.
"When I saw it, I thought it would be quite difficult to close, but I just went through and closed each muscle layer and it came together quite nicely.
"That was memorable because you could see the immediate result. So much of what we do is delayed gratification where you see the result in a couple of days or a couple of weeks."
As for the rest of the year, she's off to attend the World Buiatrics Congress in September in Madrid thanks to a scholarship she received and is determined to keep growing her skills.
"My goal for the first couple of years out of practice to become the best, well rounded practice vet that I can be and then after that, I'll just see where my interest lies."
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.