Vet Column 30th Edition |

Vet Column 30th Edition

David L. Morris, DVM, Ph.D.
Fort Collins, Colo.

Approximately 18 years ago, editors at the Fence Post contacted me with an idea of developing an animal health column for publication every other week. Since the publication targets a variety of readers interested in agriculture, it was agreed upon to provide articles that might be of interest concerning a variety of animal species and industries. With the exception of a few articles on horses, such as with the outbreak at the time of West Nile virus, most articles deal with food animal species.

When I first started, I felt I could contribute enough to develop three or four articles. Now, 18 years and almost 500 articles later, I look forward to developing an informative article regarding a topic of interest every other week. As initially intended, I focused on continuing education type articles that might serve as reminders for doing things that most all readers know they should do, but time or other issues get in the way. To not be repetitive, for the last several years, I have focused more on reviewing recent scientific animal health and management publications that offer some new ideas or concepts that might be of interest to readers. In this way, I hope to be able to provide some cutting edge research results and alternatives to producers in layman terms to help foster thought and creativity as they go about their day to day activities with their animals. And with an eye toward the next generation of agriculturists, I sometimes see an opportunity to target a specific article to helping the youth.

Some of my best memories in developing articles, however, and the best source of ideas to write about, come from the readers themselves. I received a call one afternoon from a well-respected friend and cattleman who had attempted to give a cow a pill of medicine. Now most readers know how big a cow pill is, so when they visualize the device in placing the pill in the cow’s mouth, and the plastic device comes out of the cow’s mouth with half of it gone and swallowed, they can relate. So, right there came the perfect article to be written, “What should I do now, Doc?” After the article was published the following week, I got a telephone call from the gentleman telling me that, “I didn’t know you were going to write about it for all to read!” Clearly, no names were mentioned in the article, but it is one of my highlights from writing the column.

Lastly, and with a distribution list of the Fence Post to over 19,000 readers in 50 States and some foreign countries, my efforts have led to acquaintances and re-acquaintances in places one would never imagine. Most recently, and because of picking up a Fence Post by a reader, and my association with the Fence Post, I received an inquiry from an individual whom I had not seen in 36 years.

It has indeed been my great pleasure to contribute in some small way to the continued success of a great group of folks who work tirelessly and with perpetual deadlines to bring you a relaxing and informative agricultural publication on a weekly basis. Congratulations, to the Fence Post, on a well-deserved 30th anniversary celebration!

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