Doc's Farm honors 'Valley's Vet,' Dr. James Thompson
Isai Mata, 3, of New Mexico, watches ducklings Friday afternoon during the grand opening of Doc's Farm during the first day of the California Mid-Winter Fair & Fiesta in Imperial. (ERIC MILLER PHOTO / March 1, 2013)
The featured agriculture education exhibition gives visitors a chance to meet baby animals and their moms as well as see stages of the “process of life,” Fair Special Projects Coordinator Holly Baker said.
“We wanted to honor him in some way that we felt would be outstanding for everybody. We worked on this for quite some time, and we felt that what better way than a birthing center called Doc’s Farm,” Fair Board President Darrel Bostic said. “We all know he’s watching over all these baby animals every day.”
Bostic presented a blue ribbon award from the Western Fair Association, the highest award given to any fair, to Thompson’s wife, Kaye Thompson, who attended the exhibit’s grand opening Friday along with her daughter Kimberly, grandchildren and the entire staff of the El Centro Animal Clinic.
“I’m just glad that they are doing this,” Kaye Thompson said. “They put a lot of time and dedication into this, and I’m just glad to see them recognize him.”
Her young grandson cut the ribbon on the exhibit, and a plaque in Thompson’s honor was placed inside.
Her husband was a 4-H leader for five years and state FFA president as well.
“This man was great to all of these kids out here,” Bostic said. “It didn’t matter what animal they went in there with, it didn’t matter what was wrong with the animal, if he could fix it, he fixed it and didn’t charge the kids but a dollar.”
“He touched the hearts of all the ag kids here for generations,” Baker said in agreement.
The entire staff from the El Centro Animal Clinic where Dr. Thompson worked came in blue shirts featuring “Doc” on them for the event and were visibly moved Friday, tearfully hugging each other as they entered Doc’s Farm.
“It’s part of his legacy, being so loved by the community,” clinic employee Mariana Juarez said. “It’s awesome to see all of his hard work, that they recognize it here and to show they had the opportunity to know him. He was a really smart man, a really smart cookie.”
“It didn’t matter what time, 4 o-clock in the morning, he did not care. He would come,” clinic co-worker Amber Ross added. “And if he knew you, you were family. Period.”
The exhibit features a sow and her piglets who were born Tuesday, two calves born two weeks ago, a pregnant heifer and guinea pig due any day, ducklings and more. There will also be a backyard compost seminar in the barn Wednesday during fair hours.
Jessica Acosta, 10, excitedly ran from animal to animal pointing them out to her father.
What did she think about Doc’s Farm?
“It’s a very good idea, because Dr. Thompson did everything for us,” she said. “He was my dog’s veterinarian.”
Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or email@example.com