Dr. Robert Gukich   Lake Wales, Florida – G7 Ranch, Inc.

DOC PHOTO

Founding Member Dr. Robert Gukich, more commonly known as Doc, is a veterinarian by profession. He graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science in 1972 and his DVM in 1976. He returned to his hometown of Lake Wales, Florida where he built a six-man practice. In 2001, he sold his practice and formed Lake Wales Large Animal Services. Doc says that over the past 15 years working with cattle, he has provided vet services annually to over 50,000 mama cows.

He decided it was time to start building his own herd. He formed G7 Ranch, named after Doc and his wife Doris, and their five daughters – Hayley, Brannan, Ambrey, Ashton, and ML. His daughters and their husbands have jobs elsewhere but all assist in managing the ranch in some capacity.

He bought his first 500 cows and has since grown his herd to 1300 head. “One of the most important things I learned from my grandfather about life was to always complete a job that I start, and to do it to the best of my ability,” says Doc. This explains why he manages to run a cattle ranch and a successful veterinary practice at the same time.

Doc says that the comfort and care of cattle are of the utmost importance to a rancher. If they are not well cared for the mama cows will not reproduce. They always need to have adequate space and a source of clean water. G7 Ranch uses three windmills to pump fresh water into their troughs.

You may see Doc on the RFD channel’s “Cattlemen to Cattlemen” from time to time. The show has featured him on multiple occasions explaining vaccines and the vaccination protocol he uses on his ranch.

G7 Ranch is on 6,500 acres of leased land, so the Gukiches are not able to implement any conservation programs on it. However, his grandfather purchased 4000 acres in Hendry County, Florida in 1947. Doc oversees that operation, and it has been designated a Panther Mitigation Bank through the United States Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Doc and his family are building a legacy that has already grown strong roots. He could not be happier that his eleven-year-old grandson, Colton, has started working on the ranch on Saturdays, and is interested in becoming a large animal veterinarian. “It’s wonderful to watch another generation get involved with our ranch,” says Doc.