The ACVO Diplomate Spotlighthonors Active or Emeritus Diplomates in the profession who are leaders in their field, are in good standing with the ACVO and have an interesting story to share. Please submit your nomination for this feature to the ACVO office for consideration.
I was born in Cleveland, OH in 1930 and lived there for approx. 10 years. We then moved to our farm in Chagrin Falls, OH. I was the third of four brothers. We farmed with truck crops, had a dairy and shipped our milk, actually cream, because we weren't accredited, to a creamer in Cleveland. After several years, we got rid of the dairy cows and began breeding polled herefords. I was one happy guy to get rid of milking cows by hand!! Suffice to say I fell in love with beef cattle and decided to make raising cattle my lives profession.
I graduated from Auburn high in 1948 and was the largest class in its history with 13 members. We were the last class in the school. It consolidated with several other small schools and became Kenston. I went to The Ohio State University and enrolled in the college of agriculture in the curriculum called animal husbandry; now animal science. After 1 1/2 years, I was working in the beef barn under the direction of Mr. Herman Purdy. He asked me to go down to Senatobia, Mississippi to help his father, who was the manager of the Double E Ranch, which was one of the leading polled hereford ranches in the nation. They had a yearly sale and Mr. Earl Purdy needed some help. I thought that they wanted me to go down and show them how to get the cattle ready for the sale. I found out that I, the little farm boy from Chagrin Falls could not even clean out a stall properly, let alone show them how to get cattle ready for a sale.
I did something that my Mother never forgave me for, I left school. I called the fraternity that I was a member of and told them to divide all my things up to my fraternity brothers and I went to work for Double E Ranch for $75.00 per month and paid $50.00 room and board. I worked my way up from a brood cow helper in 1949 to the show cow herdsman in 1952, which was second in command to the Manager.
Every year the show cow herd would get a railroad car and fix it up to haul the show cattle which included 15 head of polled herefords and two or three nurse cows for the calves in the string.
In 1953 I took the string from August to January starting at the Ohio State Fair all over the US including the Cow Palace in California, Chicago international, Kansas City and many more ending up in Fort Worth, Texas.
I left Double E Ranch when Mr. Purdy went to Walls Mississippi to Hull Dobbs Ranch and I went with him. I stayed there, where I met my wife. After we married, I took a job as manager for the Polled Hereford Sky Meadow Farms in Thomasville, Georgia. That lasted one year when the owner informed us that he was selling out. My wife and I decided to go back to school and get a degree in Veterinary Medicine and do large animal practice.
I was in my second year when I was introduced to Dr. Ed. Donovan, who was the head of small animal medicine. He had an interest in eye diseases in small animals. Through his interest, I was introduced to Dr. William Havener, Chairman of the Ophthalmology Dept. at OSU Medical College. Dr. Havener needed someone to anesthetize rabbits for a new eye technique called Laser therapy. He was one of first ophthalmologists who developed light for the treatment of detached retinas and he wanted to see how this new technique called Laser worked on the eye of rabbits. Talk about ancient instruments, the head lamp was used to direct the light into the eye and using multiple intensities, the beam was roughly focused on the retina. Because we were using Albino rabbits, the only thing that was somewhat pigment was the blood and the results were not what we wanted. Suffice to say that is what developed my interest in the eye. Dr. Havener befriended me and allowed me to participate in the resident program at the medical college. He and Dr. Donovan were my mentors and I loved both of them. That was my beginning love for the eye in domestic animals and comparative ophthalmology.
From left to right, Dr. Wilkie, Dr. Ketring, Dr. Wyman, Dean King, Dr. Miller and Dr. Moore.
This picture is one of my most cherished ones!! Dr. Ketring received a distinguished alumni award and this picture was taken at that ceremony. All of them, except Dr. Miller were my students and Dr. Wilkie and Dr. Ketring were two of my residents. Their contributions to our profession are my best awards that I have ever received!! I am proud of all my students.