"Leaving a Legacy" Dr.Fred Groverman
Dr. Fred Groverman
currently walks with a limp, but many people are amazed that he
is walking at all.
was recently hit from behind by a ram that shattered one of his
At 79, Groverman
was out of bed and hobbling around as soon as the leg could support weight.
That kind of determination and resolve doesn't surprise people who know the Petaluma native who spent most of his career as a veterinarian in Cotati.
was 9, Groverman
was milking cows by hand on the family farm.
also was responsible for selling cream, driving the wagon, gathering eggs from the farm's 8,000 chickens.
got interested in treating animals when a local vet helped him heal a stubborn cut on his
arm using the same compound he
had used on the cows a week earlier.
After high school he enrolled at UC-Davis.
Three weeks after classes started, his
father died unexpectedly.
returned home to tend to the family farm and spent the next year taking classes at Santa Rosa Junior College
Once back at Davis, he
lived in the sheep barn for a year, then moved to the firehouse.
For three years he balanced coursework with fire drills, becoming a lieutenant in the process.
met his wife, Patricia, at UC-Davis
and married her in 1957 during his last year in veterinarian school.
did not belong to 4-H
while growing up, the couple's four children joined, as have five of their six grandchildren.
The lone holdout is only 3.
"I've seen what it has done for them," he
Daughter Karen now works at the Agricultural Commissioner office in Sacramento County.
Son James owns a successful pumpkin patch and corn maze.
Daughter Judy is the executive director of the Artisan Cheese Festival and has managed the Santa Rosa Rose Parade for the past 15 years.
Son Bill is an appraiser who works with agricultural and commercial properties.
"Because of their success, I am trying to give back," Groverman
"I look at my daughter and sons, and I can see how (4-H) leadership has propelled them to be excellent at what they do."
started in 1982 with the 4-H foundation, which provides funds for grants, scholarships and promotion, and just finished a four-year term as president.
"It's all about the relationship between me and the buyer," Groverman
"If something happens, then I buy the animal."
Over the past six years, 4-H
and FFA have raised more than $1 million a year.
"(In) my own kids' case, they had $8,000 to $12,000 in savings by the time they graduated from high school," Groverman
Since 1976, he also has served as fair veterinarian.
For the past four year, Groverman
also has connected with children in the classroom, teaching Veterinary Adventures to fourth, fifth and sixth graders during the summer at Sonoma State University
granddaughter Megan, 13, took the class and now acts as an unpaid intern.
He leads field trips to his ranch, with the primary goal of teaching the kids about animals.
"I also focus on leadership because that seems to be something really lacking in this world," he
Groverman's newest goal is increasing the amount of diversity in the 4-H
"You learn from your experiences," he
"That is how kids can be successful … from these life skills they learn and observe," he
Fred Groverman DVM
Fred Groverman DVM
Thirty years ago veterinarian Fred Groverman helped found the Sonoma County 4-H Foundation as a means of expanding opportunities for youth dressed in uniforms of white shirts and green cloth hats.
Fred Groverman is a founding member and board member of the 4-H Foundation.
present effort is to get more Latino youths into 4-H
Today, as the foundation president, the 78-year-old Groverman
has taken on a new effort: to encourage more Latino youth to join 4-H
"I'm giving back because it worked very good for my children," Groverman
The efforts to increase 4-H's diversity are fledgling.
, a Petaluma resident, is credited with pushing to give more young people the opportunity to learn about leadership and agriculture.
, 78, recently suffered the loss of his
wife of 54 years.
A Petaluma native, Petaluma High grad and graduate of the UC Davis veterinary school, Fred Groverman's
involvement in the community has gone far beyond his
His past titles include Petaluma Hospital District president, Waugh school board member and county fair board member.
continues to raise Shropshire sheep, which have been on his
family's ranch since 1934, as well as to judge the breed in shows.
And Fred Groverman has been on the 4-H Foundation board for all its 30 years.
"Fred is tireless," said Stephanie Larson, county director of the UC Cooperative Extension.
Susan Hansen, the foundation's executive director, said "You can't think of 4-H in Sonoma County without Dr. Fred Groverman.
in the years ahead will reflect the great diversity of the county's youth."It gives them a direction to go to be successful," he