With a deep love of water and a passion for animals, Tiffany Scott was pegged to take up a career in marine biology. However, the young Cayman Bracker noticed there wasn’t a need for someone in that field, because while Grand Cayman has two dolphin parks, they were just in their infancy, when she enrolled in university.
Ms. Scott attended Middle Tennessee State University and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in animal sciences and entrepreneurship.
During her first year, she focused on veterinary sciences and later switched to animal science. She joined the Block and Bridle Club at the university, whose purpose is to promote a higher scholastic standard and a more complete understanding of animal science among student members.
She credits the club with helping prepare her to judge livestock and to train others. She trained local 4H Clubs, which are for high school students. Ms Scott was also a member of Sigma Alpha Lambda, an honour society. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in agriculture, which she hopes to start soon.
The 23-year-old is employed with the Cayman Islands Department of Agriculture as a livestock extension officer. In this role, Ms Scott works with farmers to help improve livestock production in the territory. She provides science-based technical advice on livestock husbandry to enhance farm productivity and works as part of the department’s team to implement development policies and programmes, including arranging and delivering training initiatives.
Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, the deputy premier and minister for agriculture, said she was pleased to see how well Ms Scott has adapted to her role and how she is building relationships with farmers. “I have watched her progress and value her approach and contributions to farming in the Cayman Islands,” the minister said.
Ms Scott was the driving force behind the department’s hosting of the first artificial insemination training workshop last year. In fact, the programme and embryo transfer are her passions. Both methods promote strong breeding stock by reducing inbreeding and are cheaper and safer for farmers and animals. The goal, she says, is to produce a strong genetic stock and improve Cayman’s livestock.
“When improving genetics in a herd, there are several options to consider. Two of the most popular methods within the Cayman Islands are importation of livestock and artificial insemination. Importation of breeding stock is a costly option. AI is preferred as well as embryo implantation because of the low cost, low risk of disease transmission and hybrid vigor,” Ms Scott said.
Embryo transfer is not being applied in local farming because it requires specialised equipment and training, but Ms Scott is pushing for this method as an additional option to genetically improve livestock.
Alan Jones, chief officer in the Ministry of District Administration, Land, Works and Agriculture, also called for more young Caymanians to be involved in agriculture and said, “Tiffany is a young Caymanian who is doing a great job helping our farmers to care for their animals. She is a progressive thinker who is committed to creating a brighter future for our Islands.”