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Cows, pigs, turkeys, monkeys, birds, dogs, snakes, cats and raccoons.
These are just a few of the types of animals that Dr. Terry Palmer has worked with since he joined Quad County Veterinary Clinic in 1960. At the end of 2017, Palmer’s 57-year career of helping animals in and around Wellman will officially come to an end.
Palmer grew up north of Keota, but his career as a vet began at Iowa State University, where he said he challenged himself by switching over to taking pre-vet classes during his first year at school.
“I thought I was going to be a minister when I was in high school,” Palmer said with a laugh. “But I like animals and people and I saw becoming a veterinarian as a way to work with both.”
After six years of studying in Ames, Palmer came to Wellman in 1960 and hasn’t left since. He joined Dr. Lee Clifton Swain, or “Doc Swain” as he was also known, who started Quad County Veterinary Clinic in Wellman in 1940.
“When I started, most of our work came from vaccinating hogs for hog cholera,” Palmer said. “In 1969 the vaccinations stopped, so we started running blood tests on turkeys for a while and got into working on cattle as well.”
Smaller animals started to become a bigger part of his business after that, Palmer said, and he began to get clients from Wellman and the surrounding areas in the years that followed.
In addition to running his clinic, he’s both served on the Wellman telephone board and has been a Wellman Rotary member for the last 54 years.
Palmer also has a farming operation, which is currently run by his two sons.
“The practice helped pay for the land and cows in the beginning, and now the land is helping to carry the practice,” he said. “I had to have good people on the farm when I was in the office, and vice versa. It just fell into place.”
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