Larry Hansen drives an average of 1,500 miles a week in his job as a cattle reproduction specialist

by: JIM BESEDA/MOLALLA PIONEER - Larry Hansen averages about 1,500 miles a week in his job as a cattle reproduction specialist and last week passed the 500,000-mile mark in his 2003 Chevy S-10, driving all those miles with the original motor.Because Larry Hansen of Mulino has been diligent about changing the oil in his work truck every 3,000 miles, the next service appointment for his 2003 Chevrolet S-10 pick-up will be for oil change No. 167.

Hansen’s truck on Friday passed 500,000 miles -- all on the original motor.

“People are amazed,” Hansen said. “You just don’t see a Chevy with that kind of mileage with one motor.”

The truck is 11 years old, but Hansen only started using it as his work truck in his current job as a cattle reproduction specialist for the past seven years. Since then, he said he has put an average of 1,500 miles a week on his rig.

So, what’s a cattle reproduction specialist do?

“You won’t laugh too much, will ya?” Hansen asked. “I impregnate cows. I sell bull semen.”

Hansen is an independent contractor affiliated with ABS Global, one of the world-leading providers of bovine genetics, reproduction services, technologies and udder care products. His services help dairy producers optimize the genetic progress of a herd’s performance, which in turn helps maximize profitability.

Most of Hansen’s work is done at dairy farms in one of four counties -- Clackamas, Marion, Multnomah and Washington. Some of his biggest clients are Licorice Lane Farm in Hillsboro, RiMar Farm in Forest Grove, and J&J Heifers in Mount Angel.

He has about eight dairies that he services on a weekly basis. He also tends to what he calls “backyard beef,” assisting farmers who have a few cows, but are necessarily dependent on their livestock for their livelihood.

“This is sort of my busy season right now,” said Hansen, who passed the 500,000 milestone the day before he turned 57. “When we breed cows this time of year, they calve in January, February and March, and everybody likes to get them early enough so they’re ready to go when the spring pastures start taking off.

“Also, the market for steer calves is pretty good when they’re about 6 months old, which usually would be about June or July, when the feed lots are really looking for those.”

Hansen graduated from Oregon State in 1982 with a degree in Agricultural Education and his first job out of college was as an agriculture teacher at Molalla High School.

In the summer of 1986, while doing additional school work to keep his teaching license up to date, Hansen took a class at the Clackamas School District Land Farm where he learned how to artificially inseminate cows.

“After I left teaching in 1992, I worked on the family farm in Mulino,” Hansen said. “ABS Global came along, I knew how to do what they were looking for, and they hired me as an independent representative, carrying and selling products under the ABS name.”

Last week, Hansen was busier than usual. Instead of four to six farm calls in a day, he made 14, traveling from Sandy to Hillsboro to Forest Grove to Molalla to Mount Angel and back to Molalla. Then he made the same loop the next day.

“I got around,” he said.

Hansen also puts significant mileage on his truck in his second job, officiating high school football and basketball games.

He recently completed his 20th season as a member of the Salem Football and Basketball Officials association, mostly working games in the Class 6A Central Valley Conference, the 5A Mid-Willamette Conference, the 4A Tri-Valley Conference, and the 3A West Valley League.

Hansen’s truck has had significant work done over the years, above and beyond oil changes. He has had to replace the radiator, the fuel pump, plugs and belts, but the engine hasn’t been touched. No pistons. No valves. Not a thing.

He used to take his truck to Reasoner’s Service on Main Street in downtown Molalla until owner Dick Reasoner was diagnosed with cancer.

Recently, he has had his truck serviced at the Mount Angel 76 Station, near one of his dairy clients.

If Hansen were to sell his truck, he figures he could get at least $500, maybe as much as $1,000.

But the truck isn’t for sale.

“I think I’m going to keep it for awhile, yet,” Hansen said. “That’s my plan. I’ll just keep it on the road as long as I can and until I can afford something different.”

-- Jim Beseda / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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