Carmel, Indiana | Distinguished Ag Alumni: 2003
Today, Bret Marsh’s job as Indiana State Veterinarian is largely an administrative one in the state’s capital, but he brings to it hands-on experience growing up around livestock sales in Boone County.
Like his work, his home, too, is a blend of town and country. In Carmel, he enjoys collecting fine china as well as creating a country-like setting in his yard.
His interest in china was sparked by an early gift from his city-raised wife, Polly, who gave him his first piece, a Lladro figurine of a veterinarian. Today, his collection includes both antique and new items, and Limoge china as well as Waterford crystal. “We mix it up,” Marsh says. “We’ve even gone to auctions to find them.”
More recent acquisitions were birth gifts for their children—a Waterford baby block for their son, Spencer, and a Pooh Limoge box for their daughter, Lacey.
In their yard of one-and-a-quarter acres, the Marsh family is at work implementing a landscape plan created for them by a Purdue landscape architect graduate. “It’s a hands-on project,” Marsh says. It began with tearing out 20year-old landscaping to create a garden that incorporates the property’s plentiful and mature trees. They’ve added cone flowers, daisies, and hastas to the creek-accented property and a swing to their giant oak tree, as well as more trees. “We enjoy the lot,” he says. “It gives us a taste of country in town.”
Gardening is a pastime that yields rewards beyond the greenery, too. “I think about things while working in the yard,” Marsh says. “It helps me clear out the cobwebs.”
1981 B.S., Animal Sciences, Purdue University
1984 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University
1984-1986 Area Supervisor/Training Office, Meat and Poultry Inspection, Indiana State Board of Health
1986-1994 Director, Swine Health Programs, Indiana State Board of Health
1994-presen Indiana State Veterinarian, Indiana State Board of Health
1997 Distinguished Alumnus Award, Purdue School of Veterinary Medicine
1997 Sagamore of the Wabash
2001 Industry Meritorious Service Award, Indiana Pork Producers
2002 Veterinary Service Award, Indiana Veterinary Medical Association
“At Purdue, I learned perseverance, to face challenges head-on, and to value the faculty members and people who shared my experiences. They are part of who I am and are still great resources.”