Erwin finds fit at woman-run Animal Health Center

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JERRY ENGLER
After five weeks on the job, Rebecca Erwin sees her new post as a veterinarian at Animal Health Center of Marion County in Marion with Dr. Jessica Laurin as a perfect fit both professionally and for her family.

When asked about it, even though she wouldn’t have anything against working with a male veterinarian, she even sees advantages to working in an all-woman-run clinic.

With an eye to eventually having her own children, Erwin likes the mentoring experience in learning how Laurin has managed over a 10-year period being “on call 24-7 with two small children. She could be a good model for me.”

She said the three technicians in the Marion clinic, Stephanie Jensen, Sarah Smith and Laurie Tachman, are experienced, and know their jobs well.

There can even be a working advantage to handling large animals for women veterinarians. She explained, half-way with a smile since she considers herself and Laurin both very able, that farm customers more often help a woman handle an animal while they stand back to let a man “do his job.

“The clinic here has a lot of space to work in too, and it’s well-equipped.”

The May graduate in veterinary medicine from Kansas State University said the Marion area was what she and her husband, Cory, a K-State graduate in animal science, were looking for.

She completed a three-month internship in the equine section at K-State last summer. While she did that, Cory finished his final year helping manage livestock at a Manhattan area ranch before beginning new employment in a similar position working for Tim Donahue at Middle Creek Ranch near Marion in Chase County.

The two 26-year olds have become used to melding their plans for the future. Cory’s degree was a four-year program, and Rebecca said he has waited for her to finish her eight-year degree.

She grew up at Gardiner, and Cory grew up at Nevada, Mo. Erwin said she likes the small-town feel and open landscape in this area compared to Gardiner where the suburbs associated with the outward growth of the Kansas City area continue expanding.

She and Cory plan to take time for hunting along with family and friends. They own three horses, and see their new home on Middle Creek Ranch as a good opportunity for riding the animals.

Although Rebecca likes the array of animals she has treated at Marion, “everything from a parakeet to cattle,” she does have a special bent toward horses. Her experience even includes artificial insemination of horses. She favors Quarterhorses, but does own one Thoroughbred.

She also uses AI in the 25-cow mixed breed herd she and Cory keep mainly for production of show calves. “We do have a clean-up bull too.”

She said she prefers Angus-Simmental crossed calves most of all. The Erwin cow herd is still in Missouri.

The Erwin’s personal pets also include an Australian Shepherd named Shep, two cats named Sticker and Sandbur, and a rabbit named Tizzy.

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