Member Profile: Dr. Fred Groverman
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Member Profile - Dr. Fred Groverman
For Dr. Fred Groverman
, the future is in the pasture.
A CVMA life member and veterinarian from Petaluma, he
is recognized worldwide for his
work with registered Shropshire sheep production.
This September I travelled to Petaluma to visit Dr. Groverman
and check out his
I was curious because I had heard that he
raises some kind of unusual sheep.
I dressed for a day at the office and got in my compact car; upon arrival, I was surrounded by pick-up trucks and ranch hands wearing work boots, blue jeans, t-shirts, and baseball caps.
I'd been exposed as a city slicker.
I stepped gingerly around the barn area and warded off flies as I walked toward the sound of bleating sheep.
That morning Dr. Groverman
colleagues were artificially inseminating Shropshire ewes.
During breaks in their work, when I wasn't throwing sticks to entertain two McNabs, I was able to learn a little bit about Dr. Groverman
from his colleagues Cody Hiemke and Martin Dally.
Dr. Groverman was raised in Petaluma and still lives on the 52-acre ranch where he was born.
Following his graduation from UC Davis as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1958, Dr. Groverman joined the Cotati Small Animal Hospital, which he owns today.
For the first 20 years, he
had a mixed animal practice - his
patients included cattle, calves, horses, chickens, and even lions, bears, elephants, and anteaters.
After lunch, Dr. Groverman
took me around the ranch on some sort of modified golf cart - I hung precariously onto the back as we bounced along the fields, the two McNabs running around us enthusiastically.
We stopped and I conducted the interview as we gazed at a flock of sheep and a llama.
I asked him about the unusual sheep.
said there has been an interesting discovery that the Shropshire breed has a genetic tendency to not eat evergreen trees.
The impact of that is far reaching.
In England and Germany Shropshires
are marketed as a companion breed for Christmas tree growers, as the Shropshires graze the weeds and grasses around the Christmas tree plantation, but leave the trees alone.
is very different than any other American Shropshire breeder.
emphasis has been on utility, performance, and improving the breed.
Shropshires are the true breed type, which is a bit smaller than most Shropshires and yet also features an increased percentage of musculature.
In addition to his work with Shropshire sheep, Dr. Groverman has been the Sonoma County Fair veterinarian since 1977 and facilitates an auction at the fair which relies on animals raised by youths to generate over $1 million each year for local youth programs.
Dr. Groverman decided to become a veterinarian in the ninth grade when he was mentored by a veterinarian on the family ranch so mentoring youth is very important to him.
has also led the Sonoma County 4-H program for 36 years.
is raising Shropshires who may become sheep in trees, or supporting local youth and health programs, Dr. Groverman
is a "dyed-in-the-wool" Petaluman who is contributing mightily to his