Vet graduate’s mission to boost pet nutrition across Australia

30 APRIL 2024

Vet graduate’s mission to boost pet nutrition across Australia

Growing up surrounded by animals on his family’s property in Arcadia in north-west Sydney, Ryan Haste knew early on that becoming a vet was in his future.

The 2024 Charles Sturt University Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Bachelor of Veterinary Science graduate has achieved just that, now working as a veterinarian in Newcastle.

“Going through high school, I had several career interests but becoming a vet was something I couldn’t see myself not doing,” Ryan said.

“My mother is a vet with a focus on equine practice, so I was exposed to animals - mostly horses - and veterinary practice from a very young age.

“We moved around Australia a lot growing up, even spending several years abroad in New Caledonia, and throughout it I spent a lot of time helping her, so I naturally developed an interest in the profession.”

Ryan’s study interest took him to Wagga Wagga where he completed his double degrees through Charles Sturt, but it wasn’t a straightforward journey.

“I didn’t get accepted into the degree on my first application, so I studied the Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science for a year instead,” he said.

“While not getting accepted was initially disheartening, radiography was a great course and I got the opportunity to meet so many great people - not to mention, the knowledge was directly applicable to vet science.”

Studying in Wagga Wagga not only set Ryan up for a successful career, but the regional town also became his home for more than six years.

There were a lot of great things about studying at Charles Sturt, but one in particular is the prime locations, as Wagga is a town with (almost) everything you need - especially good coffee,” he said.

“There are great opportunities for socialising and sport, both on and off campus.

“Most importantly though, the experiences I have had and the friends I have made are some that I will remember for life.”


Since graduating, Ryan secured a job at a small animal general practice in Newcastle.

“The sea change has been great,” he said.

But it wasn’t until Ryan became a regular at his local café in Newcastle where the concept of pet nutrition piqued his interest.

After chatting with the café owner about their dog’s stomach issues, a business idea sparked to create handmade, locally sourced and human-grade pet food.

“When I’m not at the vet clinic, I’m also working with my new business partner to develop a pet food company, Pet Pantry,” Ryan said.

“While nutrition wasn’t a huge interest of mine at university, my short time so far in the workplace has identified a huge gap in the market for good quality pet food.

“Most of this stems from Australia’s poor regulations surrounding pet food, but that’s a conversation for another time. In addition, a lot of patients I see have ailments that can be aided fully or partially by changing or correcting diet.

“It has been an interesting journey so far, and I’m hoping it can contribute to change for the better across the pet food industry.”

As for what the future holds, Ryan said his focus initially is to spend time honing his skills and knowledge and getting experience under his belt.

“At some point, I think I’d like to dip my toes into the field of emergency medicine, or I may even consider specialising or undertaking a residency somewhere,” he said.

“There are many paths I could go down, but I won’t make anything concrete at this stage – we’ll see what happens.”

Reflecting on his studies, Ryan reiterated that studying at university full-time or even part-time is challenging.

“It’s especially challenging for anyone who may not yet know exactly what they want to do in life,” he said.

“If I could lend some advice, it would be that the most important thing is to find something you love doing and do that every day – don’t settle for unhappiness.”

ENDS

Media Note:

For more information, contact Jessica McLaughlin at Charles Sturt Media on mobile 0430 510 538 or via news@csu.edu.au.

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Port Macquarie Wagga Wagga Animal and Veterinary science Charles Sturt University