Dr. Robert “Bob” Harris
Bob Harris grew up on a farm in Bardolph, Illinois and was active in FFA and 4-H. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois in 1941 and served as an air observer in the U.S. Army with the 188th BN FA, flying Piper Cubs over France, Germany and Belgium until 1946.
In 1942, while on leave from Camp Roberts, Bob Harris met Anne Lehigh in San Francisco, whom he married on October 9, 1943. They were married for 65 years. After returning from World War II and using his GI Bill he earned his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University.
Through extensive research and a desire to start a dairy vet practice in California, he decided that the Central Valley, and specifically Turlock, was a promising prospect for relocation. In June 1950, Bob and Anne, and their two children moved to Turlock where Bob set up his veterinary practice from their home on West Main St. In 1952 he established Lander Veterinary Clinic,
His intense work ethic, excellent veterinary skills, and keen knowledge of people quickly built his client base. Throughout his life in Turlock he was a member of the First United Methodist Church, Turlock Rotary Club (President 1983-84), Northern San Joaquin Veterinary Medical Association (President 1955), American Association of Bovine Practitioners (President 1977) and the American Veterinary Medical Association,
Dr. Bob continued in active practice until his retirement in 1985. Dr. Robert James Harris died on February 21, 2015 at the age of 98.
Dr. Jack Morse
In 1960, Dr. Jack Morse joined with Dr. Bob Harris at Lander Vet, replacing Dr. Lyle Baker. The duo of Harris and Morse became the backbone of the practice for the next 25 years. California was experiencing rapid population growth at the time and the dairy industry scrambled to keep pace.
As dairies grew, the concepts of herd health and herd reproduction emerged. Dr. Morse became particularly interested in mastitis and udder health, ultimately resulting in the implementation of milk culturing which has become the staple of our in-house Dairy Diagnostics laboratory.
Together they began a legacy that continues to this day as early adopters of new technologies such as autoclaving and wire surgery proficiency. They were responsible for promoting collegiality among veterinarians, providing hands-on educational opportunities for veterinary students from around the world, and establishing a practice succession model.