A Day in the Life of Veterinarian Katie Lang

By Joseph L. Murphy, Iowa Soybean Association

Our “Pictures of the Week” take us to Brooklyn where Katie Lang specializes in house calls. Or “farm calls,” to be more precise. Lang has been a veterinarian for the past nine years specializing in large animals (think cattle, sheep and horses), along with family pets like dogs and cats.

Lang was raised in Rock Island, Illinois, but knew at a young age that she wanted to be a veterinarian. What she didn't expect was her love of farm life and helping farm animals.

"I was interested in dogs and cats when I was little. I went to a community college that had an agriculture program, and I found that I really loved it," Lang said about her passion for helping livestock. "I like the diversity of the job. No day is ever the same and I like being a small-town, rural vet because I get to build personal relationships my patients and their owners. I can call them by name and they will know me when I say ‘hi’ in a grocery store."

She celebrated National Agriculture Week this week doing what she loves: helping her four-legged patients big and small with their ailments while providing peace of mind for their owners.

When Lang is outside of the Farm & Family Veterinary Clinic in Brooklyn, her operating room is often a barn and her truck becomes a mobile office complete with sutures, scalpels and medicine. On Wednesday, Lang performed a surgical procedure on a ewe to help with pregnancy complications.

The night before, she found herself treating a horse in a dark pasture with the help of her husband Cade who is a cattle farmer south of Brooklyn. Because of the size of the veterinary office, Lang takes calls two days a week and every third weekend. But often she brings her daughter Emma and husband along.

"We call them family farm calls when we all go. My daughter doesn't like to watch everything but she likes to look at all the farm animals," Lang said.

Lang doesn't think her daughter will follow her as a vet but she will still work with animals.

"She told me she doesn't want to be a veterinarian because of the blood," Lang said about her daughter. "She has said that she wants to be a zookeeper."