Growing up, two of Dr. Gavin Yager’s best friends’ fathers were veterinarians. He remembers those early summers running calls with their dads and building forts with the feed bags stored in the back of the vet clinic.
That vet clinic was AMVC, a mixed animal practice in west central Iowa that has morphed into the tenth largest pork producer in the United States.
It’s also the vet clinic where Yager has practiced at since 2014 where his primary responsibilities lie within the AMVC Veterinary Services branch of the company. He’s that branch’s managing partner focusing on the beef feedlot, cow-calf and swine production medicine components.
“Most days are filled with diagnostic evaluation of individual and herd health issues developing therapeutic and vaccine strategies, processing cattle, pregnancy detection, surgery and obstetric work,” Yager said.
He also assists AMVC’s veterinary team with the caseload consisting of companion animal, small ruminant and equine.
It’s swine production medicine though that is a special interest to Yager.
“I enjoy the population medicine approach in a controlled environment where we can understand how our inputs affect performance,” he said. “My day can go from cattle to swine to sheep, goats, horses and dogs and cats.
“Even in population medicine, individual animal assessment is vital to making population-based decisions. I think to be an effective mixed-animal veterinarian you must possess the ability to ‘go with the flow.’”
After Yager graduated from Iowa State, he practiced at the Marcus-Remsen Veterinary Clinic, a traditional-based, mixed animal clinic. In the back of his mind though, a return to his hometown of Audubon, Iowa, was always a possibility.
And he couldn’t forget those summers following around his best friends’ veterinarian dads.
“AMVC has always been an intriguing company to work for because of their diversity and being a very non-traditional veterinary group,” Yager said. “The company is very community-centric and an integral part of Audubon since it is the largest employer in the county.”
Today Yager is still a part of a community he loves.
“The most exciting part of my job is that I get to play a role in the lives of the farmers and community members I have known my entire life,” he said. “We get to share in the highs and lows, and I especially enjoy watching the successes of the next generation of livestock producers.”