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Tribute made to longtime fair vet

Tribute made to longtime fair vet

Dr. Gary Daley, pictured in the hat and accompanied by his Lander Veterinary Clinic partner Dr. Robert Harris, was a mainstay at the Stanislaus County Fair and served as the on-call veterinarian un...

POSTED July 12, 2013 10:34 p.m.


It could be said that Dr. Gary Daley would be out at the Stanislaus County Fair till the cows came home.

As an on-call veterinarian for the Stanislaus County Fair for more than three decades, Daley was at the moo-and-neigh, as it were, of any birthing heifer, heat exhausted goat and any other large animal in need of his services. And he wouldn’t have had it any other way.

“He had a passion for the dairy industry and loved being out there with the kids and seeing their interest in the dairy industry grow,” said his wife, Nancy Daley.

During the opening night of the Stanislaus County Fair, all the dairy families, students and agricultural leaders present honored Daley’s years of dedication with a special tribute to the veterinarian who passed away from cancer last November.

“Gary probably would have said not to do any of this,” Nancy Daley said. “But it says a lot about the character and integrity of the clients he cherished. He would be very humbled by all of it.”

The tribute during Friday’s heifer sale included a speech about Daley’s commitment to the dairy industry and the auctioning of a heifer donated to the newly-formed FFA chapter at Turlock Christian.

Shortly after Daley’s passing, his friends and the clients he served for 33 years through Lander Veterinary Clinic, began looking for a way to pay tribute to the man who had served them and their animals so well. Cal Mast, owner of Calori-D Holsteins in Denair, was a long-time friend of Daley’s and one of those wanting to find a lasting tribute.

“A suggestion was made about doing something to help Turlock Christian’s FFA chapter and that seemed like a neat opportunity to honor Gary and encourage the kids,” Mast said. “Gary used to say if he wasn’t working as a vet he would like to start an ag program at Turlock Christian.”

The diary men donated funds to Turlock Christian’s FFA chapter to start a scholarship and Mast and Chris Bettencourt each donated a heifer to the chapter in Daley’s memory.

“It was amazing,” said Turlock Christian’s FFA advisor and ag teacher Hannah Ewing. “It is a real testimony to the effect he had on the dairy industry. A heifer sold at the cheapest end is still about $1,000.”

The heifer that is ready to give birth this year was given to Turlock Christian student Arin Morelli to raise. The Holstein named Belle sold for $6,800 and Morelli plans to donate 40 percent of her profits to Jessica’s House, one of Daley’s favorite charities.

“I didn’t know Dr. Daley, but what people have done for us in his honor has been really great,” Morelli said.

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