AASV vice-presidential candidate

Bob Friendship

Bob FriendshipBob Friendship, DVM, MSc, Diplomate ABVP (swine health management), grew up on a dairy farm near Guelph, Ontario. He graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, in 1977 and entered mixed animal practice in Seaforth, Ontario. Two years later, Bob returned to the University of Guelph in a faculty position to teach swine health management, and has remained there ever since. His current position is full professor in the Department of Population Medicine, with an active research and teaching role. He has published close to 100 papers in refereed journals, and 10 book chapters.

Bob is married to a physician (Dr Jennifer Caspers) who manages a busy practice in family medicine, and they have one daughter, Charlotte, who attends the University of Western Ontario. Both Bob and Jennifer grew up in Guelph, have strong ties to the community, and are active on various boards and committees.

Within the AASV, Bob has participated in a variety ways. He has been a speaker at the annual meetings numerous times and has been a member of the conference organizing committee. Bob has helped with the Sunday afternoon student sessions and encouraged both undergraduate and graduate students to attend and participate at the meetings. As well, Bob has been active on AASV-sponsored education committees and has been a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Swine Health and Production. In 2003, he received the Howard Dunne Memorial Award for outstanding service to the AASV and the swine industry.

Candidate's message

The AASV has had a huge impact on my professional career. I was in mixed practice in 1979 when I drove to Indianapolis to attend my first AASP meeting. I came away from that meeting determined to specialize in swine. Over the years, the AASV annual meeting has continued to be a place to exchange ideas, gain knowledge, and renew friendships, and it has been a source of inspiration. It is a tremendous lift every March to go to the AASV meeting, soak in the energy, and rediscover that you are part of a very large and important industry.

I am very honored to be asked to run for vice president, and if elected, I would certainly be willing to devote considerable time and effort to ensuring that AASV interests are served to the best of my ability. I owe this organization a great deal, and I'm more than willing to try to repay some of this debt with hard work.

A major objective of mine would be to attempt to expand the membership, including continuing efforts at the veterinary schools to ensure that students have exposure to swine and that faculty have the resources to attract students into a food animal path. I would encourage efforts to attract international membership. One advantage of my job has been to travel and to attend international swine meetings and see swine practice in other countries, as well as having the privilege of instructing foreign graduate students. The AASV has a great deal to offer international members, and we have so much to gain from the interaction. Within the current membership, I think the AASV needs to ensure that all veterinarians working in the swine industry are accommodated, because many of the members are now working outside traditional areas of veterinary practice.

In the 25 years that I have been a member of the AASV, the swine industry has changed dramatically, and amazingly, veterinarians have adapted and even led many of the changes. The result is increasing numbers of subspecialists within the swine field, and the AASV will need to be innovative to accommodate this change and take advantage of the expertise of these various groups. Over the years, I have greatly admired the way the AASV has managed to pull together ideas from the very creative minds in the organization and work out solutions to problems that might have divided the organization or posed a threat to the pork industry. The organization has always managed to encourage the expression of a variety of views while working toward a common goal. I would very much want to encourage the continuation of this spirit of cooperation and input from members in order to deal with the tough issues that lie ahead, for example, in areas of food safety and animal welfare.

In summary, I have greatly enjoyed my involvement with the AASV and welcome the opportunity to serve at an executive level. Thank you for your support.

--Bob Friendship

Please also see candidate information for Daryl Olsen