AASV Vice-Presidential candidate
John Waddell was born and raised on a grain and livestock farm in central Illinois. He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1977 with a BS in agriculture and in 1981 with a degree in veterinary medicine. In 1993, he earned an MBA from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He has been in private practice in south central Nebraska since 1981. Besides practicing in an exclusive food animal practice, John is involved in numerous professional organizations. He serves on the FDA-CVM Veterinary Advisory Committee and is the chairman of the AVMA committee on Judicious Therapeutic Antimicrobial Use. John and his wife, Carol, reside in rural Sutton, Nebraska and have three sons. Two are attending the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Their youngest son will graduate from high school this spring and plans to attend Oklahoma State University and major in pre-veterinary medicine.
It has been over 20 years since I graduated from veterinary college in Illinois and entered practice in rural Nebraska. Many things have changed in those 20 years... with family, practice, and industry. Being asked to run for AASV office is certainly an honor, and I agreed to do so as one small way of repaying just some of the many benefits that this organization and its members have provided in my career. This opportunity to serve has also given me pause to reflect on the last 20 or so years that I have been associated with AASV.
Since entering practice, I have driven over a million miles, bled nearly a quarter of a million pigs, and seen the advent of personal computers, fax machines, cell phones, and the Internet. Our practice has been host to dozens of veterinary students, foreign visitors, youth groups, and industry representatives. With the raising of three sons, I have probably been witness to over a thousand baseball, basketball, and football games, not to mention the dozens of 4H and FFA meetings and band and chorus programs.
The industry has experienced monumental changes, including historic highs and lows in the hog market and consolidation beyond anyone's expectations, as well as career-changing diseases such as PRRS. We have also seen PRV go from where clinical signs were common to nearly eradicating it from the US swine population. Our organization has changed and adapted along the way also. The most obvious was the name change, but the hiring of Tom Burkgren and the move to Perry have made a huge impact.
I have had the privilege of learning from examples of some truly great swine practitioners, such as Al Leman, Ralph Vinson, Alex Hogg, Steve Henry, Connie Schmidt, Jack Anderson, and Roy Schultz, just to name a few. They have made a huge impact on our profession. These and many of my current colleagues have always been willing to share information and help out whenever they see a need. These people are what have made AASV what it is today and have laid the solid foundation on which to build the future.