Care that comes full circle might be the BioZyme® company motto, but for one of its leading Vita Charge® dealers, that care is something put into practice every day. Tera Rooney Barnhardt, DVM, is a wife, a mom of two young children and a leading bovine veterinarian, consulting feedlots and dairies in Western Kansas. She makes it her mission to ensure that beef and dairy cattle under her watch have the best care possible.
“I think when there is a problem with a group of calves, we tend to lean toward what we can do now to fix it. A lot of times that comes in the form of an antibiotic or vaccine. These are wonderful tools for our industry, but we’ve got to be stewards of these types of tools and explore technologies that might otherwise make a consumer more comfortable to keep choosing beef and dairy at the grocery store,” Rooney Barnhardt said. “Many times, if we think about the events that led up to the wreck, we’ll do a better job of preventing or at least preparing for the next one. I’m not a nutritionist, but I’d make a pretty bad veterinarian if I ignored the largest system in a cow’s body!”
Keeping those bovine digestive systems in check isn’t always easy, but it’s a job that Rooney Barnhardt does with zest. Her passion started while growing up on her family’s farm in Southwest Kansas. Her grandfather loved cows, and “he lit a fire in my belly to love cows too,” according to the Kansas State University alumna. She earned her bachelor’s in Animal Sciences and Industry, a master’s in Biomedical Sciences and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from K-State, before her first stint in a mixed animal clinic in rural Kansas, where she said she became acutely aware of how important the digestive system is to the health of all animals, both big and small. Today, her primary focus is on bovines, both beef and dairy.
“I hit the road every day thinking about what an awesome gig I have – I work with the people who put food on our tables. We make sure that food is safe, nutritious and sustainably produced. It’s a privilege to have consumers who want beef and dairy products for their families,” Rooney Barnhardt said.
The health and welfare of those animals starts at birth. Many of Rooney Barnhardt’s clients raise their animals from birth to harvest, so getting them off to a good start is vital. That is one reason she decided to become a BioZyme dealer.
“I was honestly frustrated that we’d see so many problems in herds or with animals that came down to nutritional deficiencies. Cow-calf herds can be raised in a low maintenance manner where I practice because of all of the available crop residues and grassland. They can be low maintenance, until they can’t. When clients would come to me with a problem, and we’d need to have a solution that made sense when you put boots on the ground – BioZyme seemed to accomplish a lot of that for me,” she said.
Although most of the cattle that Rooney Barnhart oversees are managed well, fed well, and are typically healthy, when they do get sick, she likes to use the Amaferm® advantage used in the Vita Charge to keep the animals she does have to treat healing quicker.
“If I can utilize the animal’s immune system to its maximum potential because I have every other wheel on the track, that’s how I prefer to practice veterinary medicine. I like to stay on the proactive side of problem solving. I like the Vita Charge line for this reason. I can utilize this product in its multiple forms to get an animal or a pen of animals back on track.”
And her favorite products: “I don’t leave home without a tube of Vita Charge Gel in my truck. If I’m treating individual animals, we get better results if I can get their gut back on track sooner. And since I can’t forget the other 4-legged friends on the ranch, I also like to keep Vitalize on hand. I see how many things a good farm dog can eat in a day at the ranch or dairy. Man, do they need some assistance from what I have seen!”
Care that comes full circle. For this dealer, that motto is how she lives her life.
“At the end of the day, I’m a veterinarian in the trenches of the cattle industry. I have a couple of kids at home and I feed the same beef I help raise, to my family. They drink the same milk that my dairies produce for your family. I’m excited to be a small part in the process that keeps the world fed. If you have questions about how your food is produced, please don’t listen to a celebrity, politician or athlete; check in with a farmer or veterinarian. I am happy to be that person for you.”