Ashland Veterinary Center Inc.

620.635.2641 • Veterinary services exceeding our clients' expectations

Dr. Randall Spare Presented Service to Industry Award by the Beef Reproduction Leadership Team

September 1, 2017

The Beef Reproduction Leadership Team presented Dr. Randall Spare the Service to Industry Award Aug. 29 during the Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle Symposium (ARSBC) in Manhattan, Kansas. This award recognizes outstanding contributions by individuals working in the artificial insemination (AI) industry toward the application or increased use of AI and estrous synchronization by beef producers.

Spare, DVM from Ashland, Kansas, has dedicated more than a quarter century as a veterinary practitioner educating his clients relative to the value of genetic improvement through AI and estrous synchronization.

"Veterinarians making an impact in the areas of AI and estrous synchronization among commercial cow-calf producers are unconventional thinkers," says Mark Gardiner of Gardiner Angus Ranch, Ashland, Kansas. "Dr. Spare continually stresses the importance of client goals, total health and wellness, market access as well as risk tolerance in the context of accelerated improvements through AI and synchronization. Randall Spare has a true stake in his client's success. He has made the effort to have skin in the game by using all of this technology on his own operation, before applying it on theirs."

Under Dr. Spare's leadership, Ashland Veterinary Center offers comprehensive reproductive services in a four-state area surrounding Ashland. Today, the AVC team offers turnkey reproductive services. From semen sales, AI, fetal sexing and palpation, Dr. Spare is responsible for AI and synchronization of approximately 10,000 to 20,000 commercial females per year.

"From the first interaction with a client considering AI and synchronization, Dr. Spare is motivated to assist in accessing a value-added market. AI and synchronization schemes simply serve as a starting point for clients determined to make herd improvements," Gardiner adds. "AI and synchronization enable a client to take advantage of market timing. To further accelerate progress, Dr. Spare encourages clients to add genomic testing as a benchmarking tool, adding to the precision and progress of an AI and synchronization program. Any client willing to embrace Spare's enthusiasm for herd improvement through AI and synchronization will ultimately increase the opportunity for profitability and farm-to-fork sustainability."

More than 340 producers, veterinarians, and representatives from the artificial insemination (AI) and pharmaceutical industries were in attendance at the Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle Symposium. The Beef Reproduction Leadership Team's mission is to optimize the productivity and improve the profitability of cow-calf operations by facilitating the adoption of cost-effective, applied reproductive technologies.

For more information about this year's symposium, visit

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AVC Expansion Welcomes Dr. Tonia Traas

June 16, 2016

Ashland Veterinary Center, a diversified mixed animal practice serving a four state area, welcomes Dr. Tonia Traas to the AVC team. Dr. Traas, a native of Waunakee, Wisc., is a recent graduate of Kansas State University's College of Veterinary Medicine.

Traas earned a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her academic pursuits are reflected in a diverse resume including small animal, beef cattle, dairy as well as equine. Tonia has gained valuable clinical experience through externships, internships and mentorships in progressive practices in Wisconsin, Kansas and Tennessee.

In welcoming Dr. Traas to the AVC team, Dr. Randall Spare said, "We are so fortunate to have such an accomplished young veterinarian join our team. Tonia's enthusiasm, curiosity and willingness to learn make her a perfect fit for Ashland Veterinary Center. In fact, we first met Tonia in 2013. We knew then she was headed toward a very successful career in veterinary medicine. On behalf of my colleagues, Drs. Kellenberger, Deewall, McCarty and the entire staff at AVC, we welcome Dr. Traas to our team."

Ashland Veterinary Center, Inc. is dedicated to the quality care of large and small animals in a four state region. Located in southwestern Kansas, the AVC practice serves registered and commercial beef ranching operations, feedlots and pet owners.

Investing in continuing education and applying advancing science and technology in the practice of veterinary medicine are commitments made by each practitioner at AVC. Customer service, education and best practice medicine are the hallmarks of care at Ashland Veterinary Center.

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Slow Down and Make a Better Plan (By Reducing Stress at Weaning Time)

By Dr. Travis McCarty, Ashland Veterinary Center
September 17, 2015

"Doc, my calves I just weaned are getting sick!"

When faced with this kind of unfortunate situation, with animals becoming ill and possibly even succumbing to death, we often try to overanalyze these events and want to blame a bottle of vaccine or antibiotic for the poor outcomes. Many emotions take over. Confusion, fear and sometimes anger are the typical human responses.

Customers are confused because they believe they are doing everything correct. They are afraid of the financial losses that have been occurring, and then sometimes they are just plain mad at the situation. We've all been there.

Instead of letting anger control your emotions, I would suggest that you slow the game down and remember there are basically two reasons why sickness and death occur.

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Safe Handling Facilities - A Worthy Investment

By Dr. Travis McCarty, Ashland Veterinary Center
July 14, 2015

I recently had a phone conversation with a client about building new facilities. We talked for a couple of hours discussing the double alley systems, single alley systems, Bud Boxes, tub designs, snakes and all possible chutes. After the phone call, I began recalling the places that I have feared for my life while preg checking, semen testing bulls and/or delivering calves

Right or wrong, I know the veterinarian's safety may not be top of mind, but when taking into consideration animal welfare, the value of the livestock and the cost of labor getting injured on the job, there is really no excuse not to have safe facilities to handle cattle.

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AVC Celebrates 25 Year Milestone

June 12, 2015

On the first day of June 1990, an aspiring veterinarian moved his young family to Ashland, Kansas, to assume ownership of a struggling veterinary clinic. The rural Clark County practice, geographically located in an area where cattle far outnumber people, spelled opportunity for Dr. Randall Spare.

Fast forward a quarter century and the Ashland Veterinary Center's (AVC) five veterinarians offer extensive services in a four state area. The clinic provides small and large animal services with the majority of AVC's work being large animal, including cow-calf, stocker and feedlot.

Herd health management, nutritional consulting, disease prevention and testing, genomic and reproductive services, equine reproduction and acupuncture are all services offered by the AVC team. The AVC bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) lab tests more than 30,000 samples each year in an effort to eradicate one of the most costly illnesses in beef production. In addition, AVC veterinarians and support staff are responsible for managing the requirements of international exports for cattle shipments to Russia, Canada, Mexico, Egypt and Kazakhstan.

Access to genomic information and a bullish economic environment for cow-calf producers have resulted in the growth of artificial insemination and the use of genomic technology. Today, AVC provides complete reproductive services, including synchronization, artificial insemination, genomic testing and semen sales on more than 5,000 head of cattle, for commercial and registered beef producers, each year.

Modern best practice veterinary medicine recognizes the importance of overall wellness and animal welfare, including pain management. The AVC team is sensitive to pain management and includes a certified veterinary acupuncturist for large and small animal treatment to administer alternative treatment as a therapeutic option. Cold laser therapy is relatively new technology used to promote healing and pain management.

As good citizens and responsible veterinarians, the AVC team works closely with area rescue groups and through social media to rescue and rehome abandoned and unwanted pets. All rescue and rehoming cases are given wellness examinations, tested for parasites and vaccinated. To date, many unwanted pets have found "furever" homes thanks to the AVC team and an extensive network dedicated to small animal welfare and rescue.

When asked to comment on the 25 years of progress at AVC, Randall Spare responded, "All businesses are a collection of people. Successful businesses are typically the result of extraordinary people. The growth and progress at AVC is directly connected to our loyal staff. The AVC team works diligently to provide any service necessary for all our clients. Our mission is to develop long term relationships built on trust. We strive daily to reassure them we care. After all, we aren't just a business. Our entire team is part of a wonderful community in southwest Kansas. We are so grateful for the opportunity to serve and the trust our customers have placed in us for 25 years."

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'Tis the (Heifer Calving) Season

By Dr. Travis McCarty, Ashland Veterinary Center
February 4, 2015

A common question we receive as veterinarians is, "When do we need to intervene and assist heifers when they are calving?"

Read more.

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When Should You Call the Vet on a Difficult Calving?

By Burt Rutherford
January 29, 2015

Randall Spare, president of Ashland Veterinary Center in Ashland, Kan., and one of four vets at the operation, says the torrid cattle market is a big reason for their busy schedules. "We've assisted more people because they've said, 'I don't want to mess this up. That calf is too valuable.'"

Read more.

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Why Genetic Credentials Matter in U.S. Beef Industry

By Wes Ishmael
November 3, 2014

Helping cow-calf clients sort through which cattle to add to their herds during this current period of industry expansion may be even more important than helping them figure out the most effective ways to expand.

"Predictable genetics are a way of helping our clients manage risk. As veterinarians, I think we need to be more aware of that aspect," says Randall Spare, DVM of Ashland Veterinary Center, Inc., in Ashland, Kan.

Read more.

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Dr. Randall Spare Recognized with Merial Excellence in Preventive Medicine Award at AABP

Prestigious awards were given to seven bovine veterinarians at the American Association of Bovine Practitioners 2013 Annual Conference in Milwaukee.

The highly coveted Bovine Practitioner of the Year award from the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) was given to Dr. Tom Latta of Spearman, Texas, at the 2013 AABP Annual Conference in Milwaukee, Wis. last week.

The award, sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., honors a veterinarian in active practice who is active in organized veterinary medicine and who has made significant contributions to bovine medicine.

Six other bovine veterinarians were also honored at the Annual Business Meeting and Lunch on Sept. 21. They are:

Merial Excellence in Preventive Medicine

This award recognizes individual member practitioners or practices that have developed outstanding preventive medicine programs. Because of differences in management goals and needs, one award is given to recognize an outstanding program for dairy production, and one for beef production. 2013 recipients are:

  • (Dairy) Dr. Scott Tripp, Richmond, Utah
  • (Beef) Dr. Randall Spare, Ashland, Kan.

AABP Award of Excellence

Sponsored by AABP, recipients must be involved in teaching, research, industry or government areas. The recipient’s professional activities must have had a consistent and direct influence on daily activities of veterinarians in bovine practice. The 2013 recipient is:

  • Dr. Ken Nordlund, University of Wisconsin

Zoetis Distinguished Service Award

The recipient of this award is an individual who, through long and continued service, has promoted the goals of the AABP and whose accomplishments have served as a model for service to bovine agriculture through organized veterinary medicine. The 2013 recipient is:

  • Dr. Robert Van Saun, Pennsylvania State University

Merck Animal Health Mentor of the Year Award

The recipient of this award is an AABP member who has been engaged in the field of veterinary medicine for at least 25 years and has served as both advisor and role model to pre-veterinary and/or veterinary students. This award is given to a member who embodies this spirit whether in practice, the clinic, or the classroom. The 2013 recipient is:

  • Dr. Robert BonDurant, University of California-Davis

James A. Jarrett Award for Young Leaders

This award is for a deserving AABP member within 10 calendar years of graduation from veterinary school. Recipients will have given extraordinary service to the AABP in a manner that significantly enhances the mission of the organization. The 2013 recipient is:

  • Dr. Ben Wileman, Willmar, Minn.

Cattle Production Veterinarian Hall of Fame

The Cattle Production Veterinarian Hall of Fame annually recognizes one beef and one dairy veterinarian for their lifelong commitment to bovine veterinary medicine. This award is sponsored by AABP, the Academy of Veterinary Consultants, Bovine Veterinarian, Merck Animal Health and OsbornBarr.

  • (Dairy) Dr. Elmer Woelffer (deceased), Oconomowoc, Wis.
  • (Beef) Dr. Don Williams, Colorado Springs, Colo.
For more information on AABP, visit

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AVC Earns Kansas Business and Professional Women's 2013 Small Business of the Year award

Ashland Veterinary Center was recently honored by the Kansas Business and Professional Women's organization as their 2013 Small Business of the Year! AVC was chosen amongst other Kansas companies with 15 or less employees. Pictured are all of the hard working women that keep AVC going strong. It truly is a team effort of both men and women. AVC women credit the award to their co-workers and clients.

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Veterinary Student Lacey Robinson Interns at AVC

Veterinary student Lacey Robinson spent three weeks at Ashland Veterinary Clinic during the summer of 2013. Lacey describes her time at AVC in southwest Kansas as an invaluable learning experience. "The externship experience at AVC has exposed me to the many facets of rural mixed animal practice. Whether it's treating a puppy with a fractured limb or consulting a rancher on herd health issues, the team at AVC strives to provide the highest level of care to all their patients and clients. During my time here, I've had the opportunity to pregnancy check heifers using ultrasound, assisted with breeding soundness exams on bulls, horse castrations, and many procedures with small animals."

Lacey will begin her second year of veterinary school at Kansas State University's School of Veterinary Medicine in the fall of 2013. While a veterinary student, Lacey has served as an Upson Lecture Series Coordinator for the Food For Thought student organization, is a member of the College of Veterinary Medicine's Bovine Club and Therio Club, and is a student member of the Academy of Veterinary Consultants. She's also a graduate of NCBA's Masters of Beef Advocacy Program and member of the First United Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, Kansas. Lacey grew up on her family's beef cattle, horse and forage operation near Wellsville, Missouri.

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Success Breeds Success

By Jen Gillespie, Certified Angus Beef
CAB Partners

Here's a little insight on a group of Southwest Kansas Angus ranchers known for sourcing great replacement females all over the Plains. Veterinarian Randall Spare has a motto—"Success breeds success." And to run a successful cowherd, he believes in three essentials: nutrition, genetics, and animal health.

"To perform to the greatest degree, you have to make investments in all three things," he says. "If you have genetics and don't have good nutrition or good animal health, the genetic potential is not going to be expressed. Just as, using good genetics and good nutrition, if you don't use good animal health it will not allow cattle to perform like we know they are able."

These rocks are cornerstones for the Profit Proven group of commercial Angus producers from near Ashland, Kan. The alliance builds on their Gardiner Angus Ranch genetics with the brand promise of their name. As the resident veterinarian, Spare guides their health protocol: "We feel like, for the herds to perform, there has to be a basic animal health program. As a group, we agree on the basic premises, and then each ranch may do things a little bit differently according to their own management style."

Read the full story.

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AVC Customer Appreciation Dinner

Every other year AVC hosts an all-afternoon event to say “thanks” to our customers for their patronage. The 2009 event was held in August here in Ashland. More than 325 folks were treated to dinner. The following day, Shannon Hall, internationally know cutting horse trainer from Loco, Oklahoma, conducted a horsemanship clinic at the Clark County Fairgrounds. One of the nation’s best equine trainers shared his knowledge with 20 participants and more than 30 spectators.

Whether you were in attendance or not, we appreciate and want to thank all our AVC customers.

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