President's message

November and December, 1997

Hello. It is always hard to realize how quickly summers pass. I recently read an article that explains why we think time flies--a phenomenon referred to as time compression. One senses the passing of time as relative to the percentage of time one has lived. Thus, a summer to a 5-year old seems like an eternity; whereas a summer to someone my age (43) represents a smaller percentage of life and thus passes more "quickly."

The concept of time compression has nothing to do with being a swine practitioner other than it reflects the fact that an hour is still an hour, and we must take advantage of our time. Time management is critical in our professional lives, and time management helps to make us more efficient as swine practitioners. This past winter, I attended an American Veterinary Medical Association leadership workshop that featured a speaker on time management. He gave many good examples of ways to evaluate one's use of time, and made 114 suggestions to free up more time. I think it is important in our practices to periodically review how we are using our time. Review your day planners to see how your time was spent. Many of us can find inefficiencies that will allow us not only to be more efficient in our practice time, but also give us more time to spend with our families.

The AASP has been busy this summer. Rick Tubbs and his Program Committee are busy getting the speakers lined up for the 1998 Annual Meeting in Des Moines, Iowa. Many of you have been asked to participate, and as someone who was responsible for the program last year, I know the support we receive from our membership is very helpful in creating the program. In fact, that has been the best part of serving as an officer of the AASP--getting to see the support provided by members to the Association in all areas.

There are a number of important issues that require representation from members of the AASP. Such legislation as Animal Medicinal Drug Use Act and the Veterinary Feed Directive are prime examples. The AASP has been fortunate to have been able to rely on the many practitioners who volunteer time to help sort out these issues and to provide representation for our profession at a critical juncture. The AASP has enjoyed this kind of membership support for over 25 years. I know it will continue. I thank all of those people who have served the organization well in this capacity and I know that many of you will be called upon in the future.

I just returned from a trip to China where I had a chance to observe the swine industry there. It is always a treat to be able to see an industry that is significantly different from ours. One of the differences is the lack of veterinary services available to the producer in China. Chinese producers do not have access to the scientific facts that are available here, putting them at a disadvantage. Although swine practitioners are not the only factor that ensures a successful operation, the lack of information and knowledge has left a significant void in the Chinese industry, which they're working hard to fill.

Swine practitioners have been a very valuable part of the improvement that has occurred in the United States swine industry in the past 20 years. We need to continue to work to be the source of information and knowledge for the swine industry. This will help keep the United States swine industry the leading provider of protein to the world.

I look forward to seeing everyone in Des Moines in March of 1998!