Five livestock veterinarians and about 20 of their client farmsin four states volunteered to be filmed for a new reality series, to give consumers a personal and up-close view of responsible livestock farming in the U.S. The series, “Veterinarians on Call,” captures the pride and responsibility of veterinarians in their day-to-day work on U.S. farms and ranches, working with their client livestock farmers and other professionals raising pork, beef and dairy animals. Presented by Pfizer Animal Health, Veterinarians On Call premiered in September on channel YouTube.com/VeterinariansOnCall.
“We as veterinarians and farmers have great stories to tell of the care we provide to animals on the farm,” said veterinarian Dr. Paul Ruen of Fairmont, Minnesota, immediate past president of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV), one of five veterinarians who volunteered to host a film crew on his job. “I am proud to explain that I wear several hats as a pig veterinarian including diagnostician, animal welfare advocate, and public health officer. My hope is that the consumers of America’s meat products will feel a bit more connected to the families and farms that work professionally and with care in raising food for their tables.”
Another featured “Veterinarian On Call” is Dr. Peter Ostrum, recognized by millions of movie fans as “Charlie” from the classic 1971 film Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. Today, Ostrum has transitioned from “candy man” to milk man and is practicing as a dairy cow veterinarian in Lowville, New York.
“By participating in this project, I hoped to draw the public's attention to the hard working men and women who own and operate our country's family farms,” Ostrum says. “We want consumers to know that food safety and animal welfare issues are top priorities for both veterinarians and dairy farmers alike.”
Dr. Angie Supple, self-proclaimed “city girl turned pig vet” with degrees from Notre Dame and Purdue Universities, serves a variety of clients from small operations to big commercial facilities.
“My clients and other hog producers take a lot of pride in what they do. It’s important to them to raise pigs with the animals’ welfare in mind,” she says. “At the end of the day, it’s important for the consumer to know that the animals were raised humanely and safely.”
The first season of Veterinarians On Call also features two other veterinarians who volunteered to allow a film crew to document their work:
• Dr. Ross Kiehne of St. Peter, Minnesota, alumnus of the University of Minnesota who has been working for the Swine Vet Center as a pig veterinarian for 12 years throughout Minnesota and Iowa as well as other states and countries
• Dr. Don Goodman, of Beard-Navasota Veterinary Hospital in Texas, a 30-year veterinarian with a degree from Texas A&M PD
—From Pfizer Animal Health news release