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Amy Rucker, a Columbia, Mo., equine veterinarian recently joined the Christian Veterinary Mission for its 3-week trip to Romania. The group, organized by South Bend, Ind., veterinarian Marty Langhofer, consists of farriers and veterinarians who travel to Romania to work on horses and lecture at universities.
Jim Keith, a farrier from Windgate, Ind., has been volunteering for these trips since 2002. He helps teach Romanian farriers and shows them different hoof-care methods. Since most are self-taught, they sometimes don’t understand why a horse’s feet may be unstable. But they are willing to learn.
“What’s interesting,” says Keith, “is that one of the best farriers there was a very green apprentice just 8 years ago.”
Rucker learned of these missionary trips to Romania 2 years ago at a vet/farrier short course held by Versailles, Ky., veterinarian Ric Redden. Attending the clinic with Rucker were Langhofer, Brad Langhofer, Keith and Romanian veterinarian Alex Virgolici.
“Alex told stories of Romania — a country that is corrupted by the lingering influence of communism and struggling to reach prosperity.
“Marty Langhofer, Brad Langhofer and Jim Keith talked about the mission trips they’d made to Romania,” she continues. “They were so interesting that when they invited me to go on the next trip, I jumped at the chance.”
The group visited three veterinary schools and made other stops along the way. At each school, the volunteers gave lectures in small and large animal veterinary medicine as well as zoonotic diseases (contagious…