Dr. Franklyn Garry grew up on a dairy farm in Upstate New York. He received his B.S. and DVM from Cornell University, and M.S. from The Ohio State University. He worked in a dairy practice in upstate New York, and then worked for advanced clinical training at the Maximillian University, Munich, Germany and at The Ohio State University. He is a specialist in the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. He is currently a Professor at Colorado State University, where he has been in the Department of Clinical Sciences since 1987. Since 1996 he has been the coordinator of the Integrated Livestock Management program at CSU. This is a multidisciplinary graduate studies program that focuses research and training efforts at problems in cow/calf, feedlot, and dairy agriculture.
What types of changes are you working to implement on farms and ranches?
I am a strong believer in the power of education and the use of information to make good decisions. Issues of the present and future in livestock production include animal welfare and metabolic and infectious disease management and control. These are best addressed by continual improvement of animal husbandry, handling and management. I try to teach veterinary students and farm personnel how to monitor information about clinical disease, subclinical disease, and causes of mortality. These generate the information needed by farm personnel to improve animal management. The role of veterinarians as educators is important to the ongoing improvement of cattle health and welfare. I believe the food animal veterinarian in the future will need to devote more time to assessment, information management, worker education and animal welfare management than to technical tasks that can be performed by well trained paraprofessionals.
If you could take urban consumers to visit a farm or ranch, what are the first things you would show them or tell them?
I conduct numerous farm visits each year with veterinary students from urban backgrounds and no prior farm or livestock experience. I think the first and most important thing for them to see is the face and warmth of the producer. Almost immediately you can sense a shift towards recognition of the difficult challenge producers face in managing their operation when visitors speak with a producer on the producers own turf, meeting a real person rather than something imaginary. Then I try to get visitors to see the flow of systems that occurs on all operations. The movement of animals through life stages, the movement of feed and waste, the movement of product to market. I believe this helps visitors come to terms with the magical biological complexity of what animal production systems are about, helping them to understand how challenging it is to manage animals and their environment as we produce food for humans.
Find more information from Dr. Garry at his Integrated Livestock Management website.
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