Women in Agriculture: Dr. Robin Gilbert

Dr. Robin Gilbert has been working in the poultry industry for over 20 years, but agriculture has been a part of her life since she was a child. Growing up on a hog farm, she went to livestock sales and fairs with her family and participated in the 4-H Club and Future Farmers of America in high school. Gilbert was drawn to veterinary medicine mainly because of her experiences caring for animals as a young girl.

“Since I was five, I knew that I wanted to be a veterinarian because we lived on a rural highway, and at times our pets would get run over,” said Gilbert. “We couldn’t always afford veterinary care, so my dad and I would care for them. I wanted to be a vet, so I could take care of my animals and make sure they were healthy and had a long life.”

Gilbert graduated from the University of Arkansas with a bachelor’s degree in poultry science. She then went on to earn a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Louisiana State University. While she had originally planned to be a small animal vet, her work with poultry research at LSU led her down a different path.

“I just realized that poultry is my calling; it’s what I love and enjoy most,” said Gilbert. “I pursued it from there, and I’ve never looked back.”

After receiving a master’s degree in avian medicine from the University of Georgia, and board certification in poultry and avian diseases, Gilbert began her career, working for several companies in various aspects of poultry medicine.

Recently celebrating her one-year anniversary at Sanderson Farms, Gilbert currently works as part of a team that takes care of veterinary needs for company flocks across the Southeast. Her responsibilities are focused predominately in Texas.

“The most rewarding part of my job is identifying opportunities and working to solve them as a team, not just as a single unit,” said Gilbert. “Sanderson Farms has such a high level of accountability and attention to detail with farm management, biosecurity, and vaccination.”

In her two decades of working within the poultry industry, Gilbert says she’s found it to be a welcoming environment for women.

“I’ve never faced any difficulties as a woman working within this industry,” said Gilbert. “The gentlemen in the industry are just that, gentlemen. The poultry industry is amazing in that aspect.”

When asked about the future of women in agriculture, Gilbert has positive things to say.

“It’s growing, as more women are learning that there aren’t any obstacles in their way,” said Gilbert. “Working in the agriculture industry is fun, challenging, and definitely an excellent career.”