Rural Practitioner

Dr. Wade Taylor
Independent Feedlot Consultant
Oakley, Kansas

By Audrey Hambright

Growing up on a beef cattle and wheat farm near Winona, Kansas, Dr. Wade Taylor always enjoyed being around beef cattle, horses and dogs.  It was this very ambition to stay involved in agriculture, plus the ability to utilize science on a regular basis, that led him down the path to become a veterinarian.

Dr. Wade Taylor

Dr. Wade Taylor (right) pictured with his wife, Sherry.

After graduating high school, Taylor attended Colby Community College and then transferred to Kansas State University. He graduated with his degree in veterinary medicine from K-State in 1980 and went into practice with Oliphant Veterinary Clinic, a mixed animal and feedlot consulting practice near Offerle, Kansas, for two years. During these two years he learned the importance of mentorship and client care.

“Dr. Rodney Oliphant was a great mentor for young people to learn medicine under,” he said. “I learned to make sure to listen to the client, take care of the client and to practice good medicine.”

In the fall of 1982, Taylor started Oakley Veterinary Service in Oakley, Kansas, which became a very diversified veterinary practice from the variety of patients and how they supplied the client’s needs. At one time, the practice housed six veterinarians.

As the practice grew, Taylor began consulting with feedlots on a full-time basis and became part of the Production Animal Consultants (PAC) group. In January 2011, he made the decision to sell the Oakley Veterinary Service as he felt there were dedicated people who deserved the opportunity to own the practice if they wanted.

His experience in the field has taught him that everyday is unexpected.

“You never know for sure what you’re going to see, especially in the mixed animal world,” he said. “The variety you see is great.”

In addition to the variety he has seen on a daily basis, improving the health of animals and interacting with people have been what he enjoys most. Even though the technological methods used as a practicing veterinarian have become more efficient over time, he still believes it is very much a people business.

“Veterinarians still need to have the art of veterinary medicine as much as we do the science,” he said. “Working with people and having a sense of the art of medicine to go with our increased level of science is still important.”

When he makes presentations to students, he continues to emphasize the importance of relationship building with clients and how much human interaction affects what gets done as a veterinarian. With that, he also encourages any young people considering the veterinary field to pursue it as it offers the opportunity to improvise and utilize your education, not to mention a great quality of life.

Taylor has been involved and held leadership positions for several professional organizations including Academy of Veterinary Consultants, American Association of Bovine Practitioners, Kansas Veterinary Medical Association, American Veterinary Medical Association and American Association of Swine Veterinarians. In addition to these activities, he was also recognized as the BCI Bovine Practitioner of the Year in 2007.

As he continues to practice veterinary medicine as an independent consultant, Taylor is looking forward to the way technology can change methods within the industry. He’s also interested to see how veterinarians can help mold people using animal handling practices to improve the overall health of the animals.