Reaching out to the livestock (and animal-owning) community has become more sophisticated with a variety of vehicles now available. Doc Talk is a Kansas-produced half-hour television program that airs each Monday, hosted by Beef Cattle Institute Director Dan Thomson, DVM, PhD, and has been an effective way to get important animal health messages and information out to livestock and companion animal owners.

Filmed in-studio at the veterinary school, or sometimes in other parts of the building or out in the field, Doc Talk features Thomson interviewing other veterinarians as well as other agriculture industry folks. The show is then broadcast over different television stations in four states. You can find the archives here.

Thomson has been doing Doc Talk since May 2010, and has created 85 episodes. “The target audience is scattered and that is great,” Thomson says. “We hit over two million homes with our show each week. This is 100% of Kansas, Oklahoma, Western Missouri and Northwest Arkansas.”

Because many of the viewers are in urban and suburban areas, Doc Talk covers all species -- dogs, cats, exotics, equine, swine, small ruminants, beef and dairy health and well-being topics, however, Thomson notes, about 75% of the shows focus on food animal production and medicine.

“Aside from reaching two million homes a week, we also had over one million hits on our website in 2011 from people watching our archived shows,” Thomson says. “We have also been receiving emails from people with questions that we try to answer on the show and have been making a lot of public appearances in support of our viewers.”

Thomson says KSU will continue to grow the show both in production quality and viewer area. “The current plans are for this show to air regionally in the Midwest as we grow to a national syndication. It is great to represent veterinary medicine and bring a ‘boots on the ground’ approach to all people and help teach them more about food animal production medicine and other areas of our profession.”

Recent shows include topics such as meat goats, expanding the veterinary work force, milk safety, antibiotic use in cattle, cattle nutrition, and cattle diseases such as trichomoniasis.