By Jessica Crabtree
Patience and willingness are both attributes Arn Anderson, DVM, said it takes to be not just a good veterinarian, but a good rural vet. “You’ve got to have a lot of try in you and really good human skills.” The Montague County rural vet should know—Anderson has been in veterinarian medicine 27 years.
Anderson was born in Rolla, Missouri., in 1960. A self-proclaimed “Army brat,” Anderson’s father was an engineer in the U.S. army. His mother came from a ranching background; her father, Anderson’s grandfather, was a cowboy who day-worked for various ranches. The combination of influences led Anderson to love animals. As a child, the innovative young Anderson had large aspirations to be a wildlife biologist. When asked why, he responded, “Because of National Geographic, the magazine, not the show. We didn’t have television then,” he laughed.
His childhood was un-traditional to most, but one he said was quite rewarding. “We moved essentially every three years. But it was cool. My parents made it fun,” Anderson explained. As a youth, Anderson can pinpoint influential things and people, “My parents influenced me. My faith. My teachers, my high school Latin teacher, as well as various vet school teachers.”
Anderson’s education was unconventional as well, although much of his life and professional career would follow in suit. “I graduated high school in Massachusetts from a prep school, Deerfield Academy,” Anderson shared. Once his parents were due to move over seas to Europe, the family made the decision for Anderson to attend and finish school in the states. “In reality, I left home at 14. But the thing is, it wasn’t a military school. It was a great opportunity for me as a young man.” His senior year of high school, Anderson worked for a large animal practitioner. It was then his desire to be a vet formed.
Upon graduating high school, Anderson attended college first in Gambier, Ohio, at Kenyon University. “I spent two years there; it just wasn’t for me. I transferred to Texas A&M University. It appealed to me because they had an Animal Science Department, were strong in agriculture and strong in church. It was a perfect fit,” the veterinarian stated. There, Anderson obtained his bachelor’s degree in animal science with emphasis on animal (beef) production.
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