When Dr. Sweiger speaks at industry meetings, and stocker producers start quizzing him, he provides the answers but also encourages them to develop a relationship with their local veterinarian.

Too often, the response from those producers runs along the lines of, “I’ve asked, but my local vet says he doesn’t know much about the stocker business so he can’t help me.”

That kind of answer from peers in the profession leaves Dr. Sweiger shaking his head: “As professionals, how do we market ourselves and develop skills in different areas?”

As always, Dr. Sweiger says the most effective education generally comes from spending time with stocker producers and the veterinarians who serve them. He also encourages veterinarians interested in learning more about the ins and outs of stocker cattle production to attend stocker focused industry meetings.

Dr. Sweiger is also a lecturer in the Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine Department at Iowa State University. He teaches an advanced stocker/feedlot elective in the field twice each year to fourth year veterinary students. He tells them a solid grasp of epidemiology and pathology are helpful in serving stocker clients, along with knowing how to help clients sort through lots of data and critically evaluate information.

Dr. Sweiger also tells them, “You need to major in psychology and minor in animal science. It’s all about building relationships and earning trust.”

 

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