New Series Takes Viewers Inside America's Barns

US - The work of farm vets is featured in the new reality series Veterinarians On Call, which premieres this autumn.
calendar icon 11 October 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

The premiere of the show can be caught on on channel or

The series captures vets in their day-to-day work on US farms and ranches, working with client livestock farmers to raise healthy swine, beef and dairy animals. The Webisodes are produced by John Courtmanche and Dan Carey with Essex Television Group, the production company behind the Discovery TV series Chasing Classic Cars. Presented by Pfizer Animal Health, each Webisode features a vet making a farm visit to care for animals.

"I am proud to explain that I wear several hats as a pig veterinarian including diagnostician, animal welfare advocate, and public health officer," says Dr Paul Ruen of Fairmont, Minnesota, immediate past president of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV), one of five vets who volunteered to be featured in the series.

"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."

Dr Peter Ostrum, recognised by millions of movie fans as "Charlie" from the classic 1971 film Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, has successfully transitioned from "candy man" to milk man and is practicing as a dairy cow veterinarian in upstate 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," says Dr Ostrum.

"Consumers must be made aware that food safety and animal welfare issues are top priorities for both veterinarians and dairy producers alike."

Dr Ostrum's clients range from farms with 4,000 cows to those with 30. He says the main priority is the health and well being of their animals, explaining, "A happy, healthy cow translates to a safe product in the supermarket."

The first season of Veterinarians On Call also features three other veterinarians:

  • Dr Ross Kiehne of St. Peter, Minnesota , alumnus of the University of Minnesota working as a pig veterinarian for 12 years throughout Minnesota and Iowa
  • Dr Angie Supple of Algona, Iowa, self-proclaimed "city girl turned pig vet" with degrees from Notre Dame and Purdue Universities
  • Dr Don Goodman, of Navasota, Texas, a 30-year cattle veterinarian with a degree from Texas A&M.

In addition to the five veterinarians, about 20 of their client farms volunteered to be filmed as well.

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