AMVC staff reflects on 30 years in business

AMVC Manning vet staff

posted on Wednesday, August 19, 2020 in Vet Services News and Events

The staff of Audubon Manning Veterinary Clinic (AMVC) Manning recently noted 30 years of business and spent some time reminiscing. They all agreed ‘it just seems like yesterday.’

Dr. Tom Ulrickson moved to Manning in 1990, seeking a place to practice veterinary medicine and a good place to raise his family. At that time, Audubon Veterinary Clinic wanted to expand to Manning and Tom, with 11 years veterinary experience, fit the bill. Thus, AMVC was established.

A veterinary office building constructed by Dr. W Felker had been vacant since Felkner moved away. AMVC purchased the building and immediately constructed a haul-in facility with cattle fencing on the east side of the building.

“That was a big thing,” said Tom. “It would be fun to know how many thousand head of cattle we’ve run through there.”

He said he started with the perfect secretary, Cathy Pfannkuch. Soon Scott Alt was also helping at the clinic. Seven years later Kenny Grimm came on board and fit like a cog in the wheel, according to Tom. Kenny works at the clinic full time, farms 40 acres and raises Maine Anjou cattle.

Dr. John Greving is the newest member of the clinic staff. He started in January 2017. He and Dr. Tom worked together for about six months before Tom retired. Tom retains his license, but no longer helps out.

He and John reflected on the incredible changes that have taken place over 30 years. John commented how the number and size of farms has changed, and the hog industry is definitely different.

“The Audubon clinic is strong in the swine industry and kind of grew with it. Now it’s all about herd health,” said Tom. “Cow-calf is still strong. Feedlot is strong around here. We’re really fortunate to be in such a good livestock area.”

John does a lot of work with cattle reproduction, primarily artificial insemination (AI). He said it involves a lot of time. Travis Hargens in the Audubon clinic has gone into embryo transfer from a donor cow to a recipient cow and is starting invitro fertilization.

“AI is huge and brings in other services we can provide,” said John. “I do a lot of detecting pregnancy by ultrasound, and Kenny does all of the record keeping.”

When the group was asked to share memories, Tom recalled the Sunday afternoon he was called and ended up helping 140-pound Great Dane have 18 pups, one pup short of the world record.

The clinic was filled with laughter as more memories were shared.
“One of the most embarrassing stories was the almost dead cat,” said Tom. “We were busier than heck and Butch Jensen asked us to put a cat down.”

Tom injected the animal and said they usually just go to sleep in the cage. Tom forgot to check the cat later, and Cathy put it in a bag outside the back door. Later they found the bag empty. Three days later the cat ended back up at Jensens who decided if the cat had that much life in it, they were going to let it live.

Kenny recalled one morning when the gate didn’t latch correctly, and they came to work to find 65 head of cattle grazing outside the clinic. Tom said thankfully they had the right people stop to help, Rick Dammann and Bary Kienast. Tom’s wife was called, and with Cathy and Kenny they headed them off from going in several directions and they ended up coming around the building and all 65 head walked right into the open gate. Tom said, “That just doesn’t happen.”
Cathy laughed and reminded them of the day they tried to load Mike Hill’s steer in a pickup. Tom said when the animal veered around with his big horns they got out of his way.

Cathy said, “It came wheeling through the clinic, into Tom’s office, jumped his desk and out through the west window. Don Zubrod was stopping at the stop sign down from his TV shop, and here was this steer coming out the window.”

John was asked if he had any stories, and he said, “No, I just listen to the stories and learn the lessons from them, like why they always close the door between the office and the pens.”

Full credit for photo and article to Pam Kusel, Manning News Journal, August 7, 2020 


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