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Magazine Celebrates CVM Mules

Magazine Celebrates CVM MulesThe Draft Horse Journal , a quarterly publication based in Waverly, Iowa, features the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine Mule Club in its Winter 2007-2008 issue. The five-plus-page article, entitled “Missouri Mules,” details how the mules became goodwill ambassadors for the college at a university that celebrates the Bengal tiger as its official mascot. In an in-depth interview, CVM Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Dr. John Dodam, details the history of mules in Missouri, along with information on the animals’ strengths, including intelligence and a patient temperament and disputes the mules’ reputation as being stubborn.

The article recognizes key players for the roles they have played in acquiring the three mule teams that have served as the college’s mascots and the time those individuals have devoted to the development of the Mule Club. Dr. Robert Kahrs, former CVM dean, first pursued mules as CVM mascots. He worked with Dr. Melvin Bradley, an MU professor, scientist and farmer, to seek out a suitable pair of animals. Missouri farm equipment dealer Sydenstricker Implement is credited with donating funds that allowed the college to purchase its third mule team: Tim and Terry (Hills pet food company and a private donor provided funds for the first mule team). Dr. Jim Thorne, who with Dodam helps to oversee the Mule Club program, is interviewed and acknowledges Clarence Koch for teaching veterinary students to drive the teams and for helping to secure the current team of Tim and Terry. Thorne also discusses the efforts of Jim Cunningham, a former breeder; Clay Robinson, who has helped with leatherwork; Jerry Brown, who manufactures wagons; and John Chipman, who hails from a long line of mule breeders, sold the university its second mascot team, and has advised the Mule Club students on numerous occasions.

This year’s Mule Club President, Jesse Cheever, discusses the educational benefits that veterinary students gain while participating as Mule Club members, as well as the pleasure of developing a relationship with the animals.

Journal writer Cappy Tosetti goes on to include information about the CVM Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction and the enjoyment nursing home residents take from mule team visits. She also shares an anecdote about how while researching the mule article for the Draft Horse Journal she met a couple who are her neighbors, but with whom she hadn’t spoken before. In a strange twist of fate, the wife is the daughter of Bradley, who played such an instrumental role in the early success of the CVM mule program.

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Last Update: February 29, 2012