Award Recipients Recognized at 2017 AASV Annual Meeting
March 22, 2017 — Harry Snelson
The American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) honored five members for their contributions to the association and the swine industry. Dr Matt Anderson, 2013 AASV president, presented the awards at the association's annual meeting February 27 in Denver, CO.
Swine Practitioner of the Year
Dr Mike Eisenmenger was named 2017 Swine Practitioner of the Year by the American Association of Swine Veterinarians during the association's 48th Annual Meeting in Denver, CO. The award is given to the swine practitioner who has demonstrated an unusual degree of proficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of veterinary service to clients.
Dr Eisenmenger was born and raised on a small family farm in Cherokee, Iowa. His family farmed and raised hogs leading to his early interest in swine. He went on to attend Iowa State University where he obtained an undergraduate degree in Animal Science. Dr Eisenmenger earned his DVM in 1983 from the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
Upon graduation, Dr Eisenmenger worked for the Cottonwood Veterinary Clinic in Windom, MN for 13 years. In 1996, he took a job at the Swine Vet Center in Saint Peter, MN working as a swine consultant for swine producers along with eleven other veterinarians. He has worked for the Swine Vet Center for 21 years.
Dr Eisenmenger served on the 1998 American Association of Swine Practitioners Annual Meeting Planning Committee. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association.
Asked to comment about receiving this award, Dr Eisenmenger replied, "It is such an honour being recognized by your peers working in the swine industry. I really want to thank all the mentors I have had working with me through the years. When I joined the Swine Vet Center in 1997, I still recall what Dr Tim Loula told me. "Always do what is right for the client. If you make them healthy, profitable and the best they can be it will always be good for you too". The clients I work for have been a big part of this recognition. I also want to thank my parents for teaching me the value of hard work and treating people with respect."
Dr Eisenmenger and his wife reside in Windom, MN. They have 4 children: Nate (30) Sioux Falls SD, Matt (28) St Cloud MN, Nick (25) Bismarck ND and Adam (23) Rochester MN.
Howard Dunne Memorial Award
Dr Rodger Main received the American Association of Swine Veterinarians' 2017 Howard Dunne Memorial Award during the association's 48th Annual Meeting February 27 in Denver, CO. The award recognizes an AASV member who has made important contributions and provided outstanding service to the association and the swine industry.
Dr Main obtained his DVM from the Iowa State University (ISU) College of Veterinary Medicine in 1996. He subsequently received a PhD in nutrition from the Food Animal Health and Management Center and Department of Animal Science at Kansas State University in 2005. He began his veterinary career as a Staff Veterinarian in the Murphy-Brown Western Operations. He became the company's Director of Production Systems in 2003. In that role he led research to improve production and health in the largest pig production company in the world.
In 2009, he accepted a position managing the ISU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory where he is currently Professor and Director of Operations. The ISU VDL team of 145 faculty and staff process more than 80,000 case submissions and conduct approximately 1.5 million diagnostic assays annually. Under his leadership, the ISU VDL has seen significant growth and continued in its long history of providing a customer-centric service to swine veterinarians throughout the US.
Dr Main has been heavily involved with the AASV and National Pork Board (NPB) throughout his career on committees such as the AASV Foreign Animal Disease Committee, NPB Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus Taskforce, NPB Emerging Disease Surveillance Data Management Taskforce, Swine Health Information Center Surveillance Data Working Group and several others. Dr Main has been recognized for his efforts with several awards including the Honorary Master Pork Producer from the Iowa Pork Producers Association, the National Pork Producer Award for Innovative Research, the Alpha Gamma Rho alumni achievement award, and the Allen D. Leman Science in Practice Award.
When asked what it meant to him to receive the Howard Dunne Memorial Award he responded, "I am deeply humbled and honored to be recognized by this organization whose members have had such a positive impact on my life. I feel incredibly blessed to have had so many tremendous mentors, co-workers, clients, and an overly understanding and supportive spouse. I am most appreciative in that this honor is an outward recognition of appreciation for the tremendous group of people that I have the opportunity to work with and serve each day."
Dr Main and his wife Marcy live in Ames, IA.
Meritorious Service Award
Dr Jeffrey Harker was named the 2017 recipient of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians' Meritorious Service Award. The award recognizes individuals who have provided outstanding service to the AASV.
Dr Harker grew up on a diversified livestock and grain farm in south central Indiana. His father built one of the first confinement swine barns in the community in 1980. Interacting with the veterinarians that visited their farm stimulated an interest in population medicine and becoming a veterinarian. Dr Harker was accepted to veterinary school at Purdue University in 1990.
After graduating veterinary school in 1994, Dr Harker joined Dr Max Rodibaugh at Swine Health Services as an associate veterinarian and then became a partner in 2001. Their practice is dedicated to swine, and serves a very diverse swine clientele ranging from small show pig herds to contract growers in integrated production. The bulk of their clients have independent family farms.
Dr Harker has been involved in many organizations starting with 4-H club president and FFA chapter president. He also received the American Farmer Degree from the FFA. He served 7 years on the Indiana Pork Producers Board of Directors and was president in 2008. Dr Harker currently serves as AASV District 4 director and represents AASV in the American Veterinary Medical Association's House of Delegates. He has also served on the AASV Annual Meeting Planning Committee and currently chairs the AASV Continuing Education Committee. Dr Harker has been involved with the National Pork Board's Operation Main Street program since it began several years ago.
When asked to comment about receiving the award, Harker responded, "I really appreciate being recognized by my peers at AASV. This organization has benefited me my whole career and I continue working to pay back what I have gained by membership in this great organization."
Dr Harker and his wife, Traci, reside in Frankfort, IN. They have four children: Kathleen, Sarah, Matthew and Amelia.
Young Swine Veterinarian of the Year Award
The American Association of Swine Veterinarian's Young Swine Veterinarian of the Year Award was presented to Dr Joshua Ellingson during the 48th Annual Meeting of the AASV in Denver, CO. It is given annually to an AASV member five or less years post-graduation who has demonstrated the ideals of exemplary service and proficiency early in his or her career.
Dr Ellingson received his DVM degree in 2011 from Iowa State University (ISU) College of Veterinary Medicine. He received a master's degree in Veterinary Microbiology from ISU in 2013.
Dr Ellingson is currently a partner and veterinarian with AMVC Management Services in Audubon, IA. In addition to his work with AMVC, he is the Associate Director and serves on the Board of Directors of the Swine Medicine Education Center at Iowa State University's College of Veterinary Medicine.
Dr Ellingson grew up in Alden, IA on a swine and row crop farm, where his parents Scott and Cynthia still live. It was there he developed an appreciation for animals, agriculture, farmers, and rural communities. Throughout his education he developed a passion for the sciences and therefore sought out a career which combined these interests.
"I was looking for a career that would incorporate agriculture, the sciences, and something where I'd be able to help people. Veterinary medicine has provided the means for me to do those things. Swine medicine is a great combination of animal husbandry, hardcore sciences (microbiology/virology/chemistry/etc.), and working with people," noted Dr Ellingson.
Upon acceptance of the award, Dr Ellingson commented, "I'm humbled to be honored with this award. I credit my family, the AMVC team, and all of the mentors which have helped me along the way, especially the other veterinarians at AMVC and those associated with the Swine Medicine Education Center. I get to work with great people every day who I consider to be my extended family. Thank you to AASV for providing such great avenues to develop professional skills and knowledge."
Dr Ellingson and his wife Jennifer reside in Audubon, IA and currently have two children, Tyler (5) and Carly (3), and a miniature dachshund.
Technical Services/Allied Industry Veterinarian of the Year Award
Dr Thomas Wetzell received the American Association of Swine Veterinarians' Technical Services/Allied Industry Veterinarian of the Year Award during the association's 48th Annual Meeting on February 27th in Denver, CO. Established in 2008, the award recognizes swine industry veterinarians who have demonstrated an unusual degree of proficiency and effectiveness in delivery of veterinary service to their companies and their clients as well as given tirelessly in service to the AASV and the swine industry.
Dr Wetzell was recognized for his years in technical service at Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica. Wetzell joined BI in 2008 as part of their US swine professional services team and works with swine veterinary practices and production companies in the Upper Midwest. He graduated with his DVM from the University of Minnesota in 1977, and practiced with his father in Wells, Minnesota prior to joining BI. Dr Wetzell, AASV's 2004 Swine Practitioner of the Year, served as president of both South Central Veterinary Associates and South Central Ag Products.
When asked to comment on what the award meant to him, Dr Wetzell said, "It is an honor yet very humbling to receive this award in a field that has so many deserving veterinarians." Dr Wetzell and his wife, Pam, reside in Cleveland, MN.
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