Like many of his colleagues, Sam discovered a passion for pigs while growing up on his family’s farm near Austin, Minnesota. His grandfather was a Hampshire breeder, and his dad continues to raise purebred Hamps and Durocs, and crossbreds. While in 4-H and FFA, Sam and his brother showed pigs at county, state and national shows. At that point, Sam knew he wanted to work with pigs in some capacity.
It wasn’t until he started college at the University of Minnesota that Sam realized he was interested in being a veterinarian. He qualified for the university’s accelerated undergraduate program for students interested in food-animal medicine. He later was accepted into the university’s veterinary school.
“A lot of pieces started falling into place and I realized this was the right career path,” Sam said. “And it absolutely is. I love what I do every day, working with pigs and producers.”
He earned his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2014 and went to work for the Swine Vet Center (SVC). He had completed a summer internship with the clinic during veterinary school and knew he really wanted to work there.
“I admired how the SVC group of veterinarians were dedicated and passionate about pigs and their clients,” Sam explained. “They had the mentality of putting the client first and helping them maximize production and profitability.”
At SVC, Sam splits his time between sow farms and grow-finish. He enjoys helping clients identify problems and implement solutions. In addition, he takes the lead on preparing clients for third-party audits and ventilation work and evaluation.
Sam and his wife Amy live in St. Peter, Minnesota, with their baby son Vinny. He does get back to the family farm to help out in his free time. He also likes to spend time with family and friends, fish, camp, smoke meat, golf and play poker.