A Little History of our Practice

Starland Veterinary Services was established in 1986 when my husband, Tim, and I moved to Ithaca from Pennsylvania. Tim had been farming (sheep and hay) and contract fencing in Chadds Ford. I had been working for the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School’s Farm Service. We bought a 175-acre beef farm to convert to a sheep farm and called it “Ratbag Farm.” Ratbag is an Australian term for a troublemaker. I worked in an all-bovine practice in the Cortland area while setting up Starland. The majority of the start-up money, a small gift from my mom, went to pay basic personal bills instead! Thus, it was not glamorous. I started working from the back of a rather used Subaru out of cardboard boxes, with only the most basic tools and very few drugs and supplies. The name Starland came from the dairy operated by Ratbag’s previous owner, evidenced by the numerous milk crates and old bottles labeled Starland Farms.

I had two basic goals for the practice. One was to provide practical, affordable, yet up-to-date, quality medical and surgical services to horses, cows, and small ruminants. The other was to be my own boss so that I could create my own vision of a really good veterinary practice. I wanted to contribute to our newly adopted rural community, while raising a family and continuing to strive to do my best job of both.

The practice got off to a slow start, which was frightening at times! But Starland did gradually flourish and I was able to hire excellent, like-minded associate veterinarians to help with the 24/7 life. They contributed a great deal to our success.

As of 2013, Starland Veterinary Services continues to put excellence first, while never forgetting practicality. The wonderfully talented Dr. Annie Madison has become a partner and it is her vision that will carry it even further. The help, friendship, excellent veterinary skills and enthusiasm of Dr. Julia Gray will assist both of us!