Though Dr. Bill Morrissey helps animals on a daily basis, his practice, Farm Animal Veterinarian Service in Marengo, also has a day-to-day impact on local farmers.

Farm Animal Veterinarian Service, located at 1405 N. State Street in Marengo, is an ambulatory practice that deals with the veterinary needs and health concerns of farm animals in an approximate 50-mile radius around Marengo, said Morrissey, owner of the business.

“We deal with mostly cattle--dairy and beef,” he said. “Our herds range in size from 250 down to one or two cows or steers. We also work on sheep and goats; llamas and alpacas; and we do a small amount of swine work. We’ve also worked on animals, such as camels and yacks, and do occasional horse work.”

Morrissey has owned the business since January of 2010 and started working for the practice in June of 2000. Morrissey went to veterinarian school as an undergraduate at Michigan State and graduated with his veterinary degree in 1984. He then worked at a practice in Maryland for two years on primarily dairy cows. Morrissey later worked in practices in Wisconsin until 2000.

“What attracts me to this [type of work] more than anything else is the impact that our skills and abilities, knowledge and experience have on other people’s livelihoods,” Morrissey said. “Almost every action that we take, almost every recommendation that we make, affects not only the [animals or heard we’re helping]; but it also affects the farmer, the owner, the dairyman, and the [person] who raises beef cows. Being able to help people make a better living, to me, is even more important than the individual animals that we work on. For me, it makes it [even] more fulfilling.”

Farm Animal Veterinarian Service has been in existence since 1985, Morrissey said. Additional veterinarians in the practice include Dr. Brian Gerloff and Dr. Maureen Hall.

“The practice is truly a group effort,” Morrissey said. “We’re all dedicated to providing the very best in service that we can individually, and as a group. I’m really proud of the people that I work with; and I’m really happy to work with them. I’m [also] really proud of our clients that through a really varied circumstance of economics, continue to call us, continue to support us, and continue to farm.”

Neil Gieseke, owner of MarBrook Farm in Marengo, said Farm Animal Veterinarian Service usually comes to his farm about once a month to do basic herd health and pregnancy checks and vaccinations on the farms’ Holstein dairy cattle.

"If there’s a problem with a cow that’s off feed or [has] Milk Fever, or something like that, you can call day or night,” Gieseke said. “If [Dr. Morrissey] can’t talk you through it on how to treat it yourself, then he’ll come out and take a look at them.”

Gieseke said Dr. Morrissey is very personable.

“He cares about you and your operation, and is easy to work with,” Gieseke said.

Though Farm Animal Veterinarian Service’s office hours are Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5p.m., a veterinarian is available by phone 24-hours a day to handle everyday and emergency services. For more information, call 815-568-5760, or go to www.farmanimalvet.net.

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