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Animal Health

Steven Tharp entertains, displays appreciation for the women of agriculture

Written by Natasha Wheeler

Buffalo – “I have a veritable plethora, a cornucopia, of things I couldn’t script in life,” stated Veterinarian Steven Tharp at the Women’s Ag Summit in Buffalo on Jan. 24, as he proceeded to entertain his audience with a collection of stories and anecdotes.

“My life is characterized by endless hours of boredom interrupted by moments of stark terror,” he added.

Writing adventures

In an article that he wrote for WREN Magazine, he used leprechauns to account for things that go missing without explanation.

“Dear readers, the next time a beloved cat disappears, be skeptical, be very skeptical, and know that leprechauns do indeed love to play trickery with even pets,” his article warned, after discovering the missing animal in a locked toolbox.

Checking for ticks, the article included, would also be wise, as the leprechauns might hide those on people or animals.

“There are so many things, I couldn’t possibly make them up,” he said.

Growing up

Tharp grew up in Hyattville, with 11 students in his graduating class.

“My dad was a dirt farmer and a sheep man. He had five kids. He didn’t just sit around doing crossword puzzles,” he explained.

Tharp graduated from Colorado State University and is now a veterinarian, living and practicing near Worland, with a clear appreciation for the people he works with.

“I don’t just see cattle. I have to wear a lot of hats,” he noted. 

“We are unique. We are special. We are a bunch of oddballs,” he said.

Ranching industry

He explained that the odds of living in the U.S. as a farmer or rancher are actually quite small.

“To all of those folks in the ag business, I owe a great debt of gratitude,” he commented.

In another article for WREN, he described some of the lessons that he has learned from the families that he has worked with over the years.

“Those folks taught me how to fake meatloaf until I could make meatloaf and ironically, other’s perception created my reality. For this, I stand in awe of the reality of who our ranchers really are,” he stated.

Continuing the praise, he emphasized the importance of farmers and ranchers amongst today’s ever-growing population.

“America, and indeed the world, needs the drive, dream, perspicacity and willingness of ranchers to go the extra mile for me, for us and for a hungry world,” he added.

Perception

Perception and reality, he explained, are not the same.

“I have come to know that there is the perception of style and the reality of content. There is the perception of form and the reality of substance,” he remarked.

Public perception has captured the American farmer in overalls as a character who isn’t very smart, but Tharp points out that the reality is quite different.

“We are forever going to battle a perception that what we do is less than important,” he explained.

He added that newcomers into the industry are coming at a good time, and he believes that those who have made it through all of the hard times will get the rewards they are due.

“We have reached a tipping point. The protein bubble has burst,” he stated.

Hungry mouths will realize the value in farmers and ranchers because it is those in the ag industry who will be feeding the world, Tharp commented.

Natasha Wheeler is editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..