Greetings to all the membership from here in southeastern Indiana!
To put this letter in perspective I am writing it on April 15th, which is tax day. The news was not too bad from the accountant this year so it looks like I will continue in this business for awhile.
The AASP Annual Meeting in Quebec City was a tremendous success. Again, I would like to thank everyone involved for their participation both in attending as well in helping put on the program. It is a big job that could not be done without all the help of the various committee members, speakers, and AASP staff. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Tom Neuzil for not only the help at this year's program, but in the past years also. Tom's support and hard work will be missed. Good luck in your endeavors in the future, Tom!
Rick Tubbs is already busy putting plans in place for next year's program. The Program Committee has been assigned and will be meeting at World Pork Expo which is to be held in Indianapolis this year. If you have sugestions for speakers or topics that you would like to see included in the program, please give Rick Tubbs a call, drop him a fax, or send an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org. All input is very valuable to the Program Committee in setting up the Annual Meeting. Next year's meeting is going to be in Des Moines and we look forward to the outstanding job that I know Rick is going to do.
Congratulations to Al Scheidt on being elected vice president. I have known Al for a long time and know that his dedication not only to the swine industry but to the AASP runs deep and that he will do a good job representing our organization.
I'm interested by the professional diversity represented on our Executive Board. I think it illustrates how we are a changing and diverse organization. I am a private practitioner, as is Rick Tubbs (who was recently in academia), Al Scheidt works in industry, and our past president Howard Hill is the staff veterinarian for a large integrator. I think your Executive Board represents the diversity that exists in swine practice and helps our organization reflect and serve a membership that is represented among these broad areas of swine veterinary medicine.
The pork industry and disease, specifically, have been hot topics of national and international news. With the outbreaks of foot and mouth disease in Taiwan and hog cholera outbreaks in Europe, it should reemphasize to us that the first line of defense of these types of diseases in the United States rests with swine practitioners. Being able to recognize potential disease outbreaks that could threaten North America's herds should be high on the priority list of all practitioners. We sometimes get lulled to sleep thinking it couldn't happen here, and yet the reality proven by these international outbreaks is that it could. Let this be a reminder that we should always be on the lookout for unusual disease syndromes that could be the tip-off to something much larger. It is a responsibility that we have as swine practitioners and one that we cannot take lightly.
I hope all things go well in all your business endeavors in the coming year and look forward to a year of good hog prices and helping serve our customers and the consumer in producing a profitable, wholesome pork product.