Agriculture

Matlick_Darin Darin Matlick

WVU Extension Service Veterinarian

Darin Matlick might spend his days on the farm helping animals, but as a seasoned veterinary specialist for West Virginia University Extension Service, he says the field is as much about the people who own the animals as it is about the animals themselves.

Matlick provides training and education to West Virginia farmers through the state’s 55 county offices of the WVU Extension Service. Programs range from training in areas like Beef Quality Assurance to the importance of livestock vaccinations.

“Farmers who walk into a WVU Extension Service county office with a problem or question rely on me to help provide a research-based solution,” he said.

Matlick not only provides solutions to current problems, but teaches farmers how to lessen the risk of future disease and injury to their animals.

“It’s about changing the mindset of the farmer through education and experience,” he said. “Many farmers don’t think to vaccinate their cattle; if the animal comes into contact with a disease then it might be too late to help them. I’ve been able to see the culture start to shift, and see the impact of the vaccination information we provide to these farmers.”

One program Matlick is particularly proud of is the Youth Quality Assurance program, which is being adopted by 4-H and FFA groups across the state. Along with a team of WVU Extension Service specialists and agents, he helps to educate and train young farmers to recognize the symptoms of unhealthy animals and teach them how to administer the medicines that a vet may prescribe.

“We’re helping to train the next generation of farmers to be proactive to keep their animals safe, but also to teach them skills they need should their animals become sick,” he said.

Matlick grew up on a small farm in Keyser, West Virginia, but his passion for the veterinary field really came later in life when he worked alongside a veterinarian during college.

“When it comes to this field, science and math are important, but there’s no substitute for seeing the work up-close,” he said. “I learned that your veterinarian is more than a doctor for your animals. They’re someone you can rely on for good advice when you’re faced with hard decisions.”

Matlick graduated with a doctorate degree from The Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in animal and veterinary sciences from WVU, and an associate’s degree in respiratory therapy from Allegany Community College.

To contact Matlick, call 304-788-6825, or email Darin.Matlick@mail.wvu.edu.