Collings Honored at Sanilac
County Dairy Banquet
Gary (Doc) Collings D.V.M., was recently honored at the Sanilac County Dairy Banquet for his significant contributions to the Michigan dairy industry and education of future veterinarians. The Michigan Dairy Memorial and Scholarship Foundation recognized him as a Foundation Honoree. With that honor, $1,000.00 was donated for education for future vets.
Graduating from MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1977, he returned to his “roots” in the Thumb area, and began his dedicated service to the dairy farming community. He joined the Deckerville Veterinary Clinic, which consisted of six doctors, focused primarily on dairy. Gary, as a partner, guided the practice, which is now known as Thumb Veterinary Services, which is an 11-doctor mixed animal practice serving the dairy industry of Michigan. Although he retired in 2020, Gary still goes in for rounds once or twice a month. When he retired, he sold out of the partnership.
“Doc” served his dairy clients not only professionally, but also as a trusted friend. He mentored hundreds of high school, pre-vet and veterinary students. If they asked him what is the “best school” to attend – his response would be, “You decide what you want to do and you go to the school that gets you there.”
He taught in a manner that fostered the respect of everyone who spent time under his guidance, while shadowing on the farm. “It’s been a great day!” was how he always ended his witty conversations and challenging teaching style.
Dr. Collings was a 4-H leader, Project Red educator, and also received the Jim Frey Award – which is presented in memory of the Brown City dairy producer, and recognizing Dr. Colling’s service to the dairy industry.
Dr. Collings mentored as a positive role model, demonstrating how to enthusiastically serve the dairy community, asking simple questions – knowing there were no simple answers.
Doc brought his best to work on a daily basis, and his attitude was very contagious.
Over 40 years dedicated to the dairy industry, Gary said, “I had fun!”