If you read this column last issue, you will remember that it is intended to serve as a forum for thoughts about AASV - what we are, what we should become, and how we can be more effective in attracting, retaining, and serving members. As well, it is intended to serve as a forum for AASV public relations and membership issues.
Due to the length of time between the closing dates for the May issue and the publishing deadlines for this issue, there has not been sufficient time for responses to the questions at the end of this column in the last issue. The questions will be repeated at the end of this column. Also, I will take the discussion a couple of steps farther with the help of some colleagues I have visited with since writing the last column.
The swine industry is changing and we as swine veterinarians and as an organization are changing to keep pace - and striving to anticipate the changes. For me personally, one of the best values received from AASV has been the forward-looking evaluations and visions of the swine industry by keynote speakers at our annual meetings. I'm not sure we can ever truly realize just how far reaching that forum has been in shaping today's swine industry.
I wish I could remember who said this to me, so that I could give them credit, but years ago, a veterinarian told me that baby pig scours was one of the key issues that shaped the swine industry. Because of baby pig diarrhea, large scale pig production was not possible. We can all see, with the control of baby pig diarrhea, just how dramatic changes in this industry have been. We have moved to shape the industry - to change the industry - and to allow the industry to thrive in spite of the constant threat and evolution of swine disease. I truly believe that we have a sacred trust that obligates us to serve people and humanity by striving to help assure a healthful, plentiful, safe food supply.
One of our colleagues reminded me that ultimately, the consumer is king. Ultimately, we serve the consumer's wants and needs. As we have seen time and again, it is critical that we serve these consumers well, and part of that service must be to provide them with information to help them form the perceptions that shape their wants and needs. That takes us full circle to key issues that we want to explore in this column as a forum for the membership.
As promised, here again are the questions from the last column.
Please send any
answers or any thoughts, in regard to this or last issue's column, to me at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can share some of your thoughts here in the next issue. The goal of this column is to hear from you and to share your thoughts with others in the AASV.
--contributed by Bruce McClain, DVM
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