The Stockyards in Checotah echo with never-ending moos.
Sometimes, somebody whoops. Another yells “He-yaaugh!” to get the cows going.
Dr. Matthew Walkup pays no attention. The veterinarian and his assistant Jaclyn Mendenhall go about their business, testing heifers and bulls.
He checks the heifers’ age by looking at the wear on their teeth.
He checks their ears for U.S. Department of Agriculture identification.
He checks to see whether the heifers are pregnant by sticking a hand inside their bodies, feeling for a calf.
Walkup checks the amount and quality of the bulls’ sperm, using equally intensive means.
As for the nonstop noise ...
“I hardly even notice it,” said Walkup, a Muskogee veterinarian who deals entirely with farm animals and large livestock.
Walkup, 32, grew up liking that noise.
“I always say that I wanted to be a cattleman or a veterinarian,” he said. “And now I worked my way up to do both. My family and I run a small farm. This has always been a dream.”
Meet Dr. Matthew Walkup
CAREER: Large animal veterinarian.
EDUCATION: Hilldale High School, 1998; Connors State College, Oklahoma State University, Veterinary degree OSU, 2006.
FAMILY: Wife, Rebecca.
CHURCH: Southeast Baptist Church.
Q and A
HOW DID YOU COME TO BE AN OKIE FROM MUSKOGEE?
“I was born and raised here and when I graduated from college, I went to Blackwell, where my wife is from. In order to pursue my career and help my family out, I came back home.”
WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT MUSKOGEE?
“My family is here.”
WHAT WOULD MAKE MUSKOGEE A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE?
“I don’t know if I look at Muskogee that way. It is a little town where people need to learn to get along with each other.”
HOW WOULD YOU SUM UP MUSKOGEE?
“For a young couple with no kids, there is not a lot going on.”
WHAT OKIE FROM MUSKOGEE HAD THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON YOUR LIFE?
“Definitely my father. He is a man of integrity, a man with a strong work ethic. He always pushed me to be my best and backed me in everything I did.”
WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE THING TO HAPPEN TO YOU?
“The Cowboys for Christ meeting at Oklahoma State University. That was when I met my wife. I was at OSU and I met her, a north central Oklahoma wheat farm girl.”