I want to be an Astronaut when I grow up.

I grew up in the Golden Age (at least to me) of Space Exploration to this point. President Kennedy set the goal of putting an American on the moon in a speech to Congress on May 25th, 1961. I was not even two years old. Exciting news of rocket launches and astronauts who were practically supermen filed the Evening News with Walter Cronkite on a constant basis. My twin brother and I had a model of the LLM (Lunar Landing Module) in our bedroom on the window sill. That is the only model of any kind I have ever put together.

Older generations wanted to be Train Engineers or Fighter Pilots….. or Veterinarians. Generations of farm kids have grown up needing to be a Veterinarian. It has historically been harder to get into Vet School than into Medical School. You have to have better grades to get the letter DVM after your name than MD or DO. (Trivia point – Medical Doctors and Doctors Osteopathy sit the same Medical Board tests.) It takes roughly 7 years of College to get a DVM degree.

EVERY Rancher/ Farmer has had the gut wrenching experience of finding an animal in distress that needs a Vet…… yesterday. You call the number underlined in the phone book (old school) or already listed in your phone contacts because you have called them before and WILL call them again. Sometimes, this call is in the middle of the night. Vets will probably tell you this call is always in the middle of the night. The frame of reference here is that you can’t load a 1200 lb cow suffering from Grass Tetany (which is a magnesium deficiency resulting from eating too much green grass) in the car and drive to the Vet’s office. Severe examples of this condition can result in this roughly $1200 animal lying prostrate on the ground gasping for breath. UGLY! You wait for the Vet to get there. It seems like it takes forever. The cow is still gasping and thrashing around. You watch the road. You see lights coming over the hill but it is the neighbor’s kid, John, getting home from work at McDonalds. The Vet finally turns in the driveway. You climb in the Vets truck and drive out across the pasture to where the cow is. The cow shows up in the truck headlights and it hasn’t died yet, Thank You, God! He hooks up an IV and the cow is (hopefully) fine the next day.

That is just one example of what a Large Animal Vet means to a Farmer.


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