Meet the Mullers
Fred and Tanya are two practicing veterinarians raising three daughters (from left: Sophie, Sarah, and Sadie) on their ranch in Prosser, WA. They run TJ Ranch together, as well as separate veterinary practices.
"The girls keep us busy and entertained on a daily basis. While they love to ride horses, play soccer, and swim, they seem to like working with the cows too. I think they have a great shot at being excellent cattle women someday."
- Fred Muller, dad to daughters
We spent some time with Fred Muller, DVM to get his perspective on raising cattle, as a rancher and a practicing bovine veterinarian.
You raise full blood Braunvieh cattle, why?
"Raising Braunvieh cattle is a legacy in my family. The breed is from Switzerland and I am of 100 percent Swiss descent. They have a very gentle nature, and while they've typically been looked upon as a dairy breed, they make great beef cattle. We set our sights on raising Braunvieh cattle when we were still both in Vet school at WSU. I elaborate on the history of our ranch and growing our Braunvieh herd on our TJ Ranch website."
"Tanya and I are both practicing veterinarians who have worked our way up from having nothing but a degree, a pile of student debt, and a bunch of pent up ambition."
- Fred Muller, DVM, TJ Ranch
On Cattle Health
"Good animal handling or stockmanship has a major impact on our cattle and can also impact beef quality. Keeping animals calm and quiet when you work with them helps reduce injuries and we believe if we reduce cattle anxiety we can reduce sickness and the potential need for medication use throughout the life cycle.
Our vet practice spends a great deal of time training ranch and feedlot workers in good cattle handling. I think the most important thing we do to improve our cattle health and beef quality is to participate in educational programs through our state and local cattlemen’s associations, university extension programs, our veterinarian or veterinary associations."
On Ranch Life
"We focus on sustainable agricultural practices which maintain a healthy grassland ecosystem to maximize the production per acre and improve the financial viability of our ranch.
Our favorite part of ranching is watching and spending time around the cows and other livestock. There is something extremely soothing about watching cows eat! That probably sounds weird, but if you have fed cows you realize how calm and content they seem when they stretch out their necks as they chew their food. I think it’s a cow’s favorite thing to do.
Also we love to watch the calves race around together in the evening. That seems to be their favorite play time."
A Veterinarian's Perspective
Read in our FAQ section Fred's take on how farmers and ranchers are invested in preventing antibiotic resistance through best practices and continued learning.