Rural Practitioner

Dr. Vincent Traffas

Traffas Veterinary Services, PA

Smith Center, Kansas

By Audrey Hambright

A graduate of Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Vincent Traffas found his path to the veterinary profession to come quite naturally. He opened the doors to his very own practice, Traffas Veterinary Services, PA in Smith Center, Kansas, in 1980 and has actively been in practice ever since.

Traffas grew up on a registered Hereford ranch near Sharon, Kansas, where he worked alongside his dad feeding cattle and other day-to-day operations. He was always very comfortable around cattle and became fascinated by reproductive physiology in beef cattle, both of which were contributing factors in his decision to become a veterinarian.
Following graduation from K-State, he worked a few years for a veterinarian in Smith Center before opening his own practice focusing on the cow/calf sector.

Evolution of the veterinary practice has been evident with the changes in technology, but Traffas has witnessed other changes as well. From the time he input his records into an electronic system up to today, the number of operations he services has decreased, but the number of cows serviced is actually greater than before.

“There will always be cows that need to be preg-checked or bulls that need a fertility exam, but the type of work done has changed,” he said. “It is interesting to see how less processing reflects on your professional work. It allows for more focus to be placed on diagnostic health and heard health programs.”

Traffas also attributed changes in the profession to producers who have adopted better management practices into their own programs over the years.

“In the past as a veterinarian you enabled people to get by, now you can empower them to do their own work and do it correctly.”

With that, he said he feels the most fulfilled when he has helped a producer add value to their program.

“I’ve always adhered to the principle that to survive as a veterinarian I had to address myself to the bottom line of the producer – to save or make them money,” he added.

In addition to his duties as a veterinarian, Traffas has active memberships in in several organizations including AVMA, KVMA, AABP and AVC, just to name a few. The benefits of being involved for Traffas are endless, but he specifically highlighted the contacts that are made and the valuable information that becomes available.

“I’ll quote a professor of mine who said ‘You know it’s no sin not to know an answer, what is a sin is not knowing where to find the answer’ from a standpoint of information flow and knowing who to go to when you’re up against a wall,” he said.

Traffas supports the efforts of the BCI and foresees more producers incorporating animal care training into their programs by the evidence of prior positive results.

“There is research documentation that supports handling cattle correctly is better for the industry, better for the overall image of the industry and more profitable for the producer.”