Q&A with a Midwestern vet whose chiropractic practice was highlighted in a widely run Associated Press article Dr. Sara Gilbertson is an equine and dairy veterinarian based in New Holstein, Wisconsin, who owns a mobile practice, Lake to Lake Veterinary Chiropractic LLC. She was featured April 28 in her local paper, the Herald Times Reporter – Manitowoc, and a month later in an Associated Press story on cow comfort that ran nationwide. Click here to read the AP story. How did these articles come about? A client of mine is a freelance writer. I asked her if she’d do a press release stating that I was doing chiropractic and regular veterinary medicine. In February, the press release was done to just local papers.
The Herald Times Reporter of Manitowoc wanted to do their own story on the dairy business side of chiropractic. AP picked up the story from there. Two people from AP – a reporter and a videographer – came and spent a good portion of a day with me, like five hours.
Click here to watch an AP video of Dr. Gilbertson making chiropractic adjustments to a dairy cow.
Why did you consent to do the interviews?
Animal chiropractic is new and different. I don’t think people realize it’s an available practice, an alternative treatment or therapy to traditional veterinary medicine. I do work on horses and dogs and cats as well. Cow chiropractic is a smaller portion, I think only because people don’t realize it can be utilized in cows, too.
Were you nervous beforehand?
I was a little nervous for the Herald Times article. It was the first time I’d been interviewed by a newspaper – you never know what questions a reporter is going to ask. Plus, I’m a small business and I knew this was going to run in a paper that a lot of my previous dairy clients would see. That article went out to anyone and everyone in northeast Wisconsin.
When I did the AP interview, I didn’t realize how big the story was to become. I knew she said Midwestern, regional. And I thought that was a big deal. I wasn’t nervous. The AP reporters had zero background [in the dairy industry] so I started from scratch. It was more like I was teaching them what I was doing and I really, really enjoy teaching.
Was there anything odd or surprising about the reporter’s visit/questions?
The AP reporter picked up on the fact that the cows sort through their feed. It was amazing someone would pick up on that just by watching – he was on the farm for just 1.5 hours.
Have you read any comments online about the articles?
There are always going to be skeptics of alternative therapies. I read some of those online but I tried not to pay attention.
Overall, was it worthwhile to do the interviews?
I think it was great. It gives people another avenue to explore if there’s an issue with their dairy cow or performance horse or geriatric dog or cat. Makes people think a little more, “Oh, I have a cow that might benefit from that” and to find someone that might be able to perform the task.
Do you have any advice for other dairy industry professionals who may be doing interviews?
Any positive news of the dairy industry is good. If you have positive things to put forth for the dairy industry or veterinary profession in general, it’s a good thing to do it and make the world aware of it. PD
Dr. Sara Gilbertson and a patient, Gator. Dr. Gilbertson is making a chiropractic adjustment on Gator's TMJ. Photo courtesy of Sara Gilbertson.