Veterinarian sees livestock clients like family

An Aberdeen, S.D., livestock veterinarian gets special satisfaction from family-like relationships in dealing with cow-calf clients.

Greg Adolf of Aberdeen, S.D., and his wife, Darcee Munstersteiger, moved to Aberdeen, S.D., to start their veterinary clinic -- Northern Plains Animal Health PC -- on Sept. 11, 2001. Photo taken Aug. 12, 2020, at Aberdeen, S.D. Mikkel Pates / Agweek

ABERDEEN, S.D. — Greg Adolf loves his career as a mixed animal veterinarian with Northern Plains Animal Health, PC.

Adolf and his wife, Darcee Munsterteiger, also a veterinarian, own the practice. The couple moved on Sept. 11, 2001, when the planes flew into the Twin Towers in New York City, he said.

The couple has two additional veterinarian associates in the practice, doing small animal work. The business includes a 35-run boarding kennel.

Adolf is the only one in the practice that does livestock. Up to 70% of his time is with cattle and livestock producers — mostly cow-calf operations and a few dairies.

“It’s the part of my job I enjoy the most,” he said. “I like the people. Livestock people are great people to deal with. In general, they have a real good grip on what’s a priority in life. There’s times when things are an emergency, but there’s also times they understand things take a while to get completed.”


No two days are the same and there’s always a curveball, like the time he delivered a calf with one head and two bodies.

Adolf grew up near Bismarck, N.D. He helped his uncles in the Roemmich family, on their farms and ranches in the Driscoll/Steele areas.

After high school, Adolf went to North Dakota State University and acquired an electrical engineering degree. He worked in that field in the Twin Cities for a number of years but went on to veterinary school at the University of Minnesota, so he could move closer to his origins and his hunting and fishing hobbies.

“I always had an interest in medicine but when I was an undergrad I didn’t have a lot of interest in going back to school for four more years, or more,” he said.

In veterinary school he met his future wife, Darcee, a native of Ogilve, Minn., northeast of St. Cloud. He graduated in 1998 and went to work in Milbank, S.D., for three years. A year later, Darcee graduated and joined him in the Milbank practice, which mostly was dairy. The couple has two daughters — one in college, the other in high school.

Adolf says ag-related veterinary practices have a special place in the lives of their communities and clients, especially with cow-calf farmer-ranchers.

“You get to see their kids grow up, just like yours,” Adolf said. “You’re much more connected to them than you would be in the office, being a small animal (veterinarian). There’s a lot of appeal in that, to me.”

Mikkel Pates is an agricultural journalist, creating print, online and television stories for Agweek magazine and Agweek TV.
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