Family business continues to grow

The family business just keeps growing! Owners of Grassland Veterinary Hospital, Jack and Diane Longfellow, now employ six family members and counting! After bringing their son, Dan, and daughter-in-law, Kristin, on board, they now employ two of their four children and two daughter-in-laws. With Todd and Maureen joining the business in the summer of 2007, and now Dan and Kristin, this brings the family count up to half-a-dozen members, since last April, when Dan and Kristin started. Dan Longfellow is a former Broken Bow resident. After completing high school, he attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln where he earned his Bachelors Degree in Animal Science. Afterwards he transferred to Kansas State University for veterinary school, where he would meet his future wife, Kristin. With Kristin being a Kansas native, she decided to attend Kansas State University for her Bachelors Degree in Animal Science. Next, she would go on to enroll into the veterinary program that the university offered. This is where the couple would first meet and began dating, continuing with their relationship after graduation. Once Dan graduated, he took his first vet job working in Audubon, Iowa, at a mixed animal practice. Though this clinic worked on both small and large animals, Dan would eventually turn his focus towards large animals, such as cattle, horses, and pigs. With her schooling complete, Kristin began working the Hilltop Pet Clinic in Kearney, Neb., concentrating on the treatment of small animals. After the two became engaged, Kristin moved to Iowa to be with Dan and was hired at the same practice where he was already employed. They worked there for four years before deciding to relocate to Broken Bow. Both had positive things to say about their former jobs in Audubon. Dan went on to specify that he’d gotten a lot of good experience there, but it was time to be closer to home. “A big part of the draw to coming back here was working with family,” said Dan. He then revealed that he and Kristin are thinking about starting a family and they wanted to be near to at least one set of grandparents. Kristin chimed in saying, “I always kind of knew we’d end up here at some point. I think it’s a good fit for us.” Kristin is the first vet in her family, a big contrast from her husband’s side of the family. When asked what her draw was to becoming a vet, Kristin said she had always planned to enter the medical field. At first, she didn’t know if she wanted to treat humans or animals, but in the end decided on the four-legged creatures, because it gave her the chance to work with numerous species. She and her husband agreed that they find being veterinarians both challenging and intriguing. “It’s similar to pediatrics because they [the animals] can’t tell you what’s wrong, you have to figure it out from clues,” Kristin explained. Dan then continued by saying, “We don’t work on people but we have to work with them. One of the most important parts of veterinary medicine is communication with the owners.” So far, there has been no talk of retirement for Jack or Diane, however it’s probably safe to say, that with two sons and their wives working at the clinic, the business will stay in the family for years to come.