Straight talk

Annual meeting memories

Members of the association would all agree that the annual meeting is the single most valuable benefit of being a member for a variety of different reasons. Members were asked to describe a favorite memory of a past annual meeting. Below are some responses.

From Simone Oliveira

“AASV annual meetings have been part of my past and present, and it is my goal to make them an important part of my students’ futures. I have presented at the AASV as a student and as a professional, and now I feel very proud to pass the torch to my own students. Since I became an assistant clinical professor at the University of Minnesota, I have always encouraged students to develop a small project over the summer and submit it for presentation at the student seminar section. They work so hard! They are so dedicated! And I am so proud to see them presenting their work! So this is, and will always be, the most memorable moment for me: the moment that I realize that I have helped a new student to develop a passion for research in swine medicine!”

From Alex Ramirez

“There are many great memories I have from past annual meetings. It is hard to think of a single one, so I just have to talk briefly about two of them that I truly believe represent what our organization is really about: its members.

Roy Shultz’s presentation during the general session at the 2006 annual meeting in Kansas City was very motivating. Listening to Roy talk about ‘Founders’ message: Successes and failures in swine veterinary medicine – What have we learned?’ was a great speech. This was a reminder that swine veterinary medicine has in fact changed significantly over the years, yet our members continue to be science-driven, honest, hard-working individuals. There have been many times through the years where challenges and uncertainty might have painted a grim picture for the future of our profession, but thanks to the audacity, dedication, and creativity of many, new frontiers have been opened. Swine veterinarians have found more and more ways that we can help serve our industry and continue to improve the health and welfare of pigs. Roy’s talk was motivational and he made us proud to be swine veterinarians.

How can one forget last year’s auction in San Diego? Once again, members of our organization demonstrated their true colors when many joined together to bid on the handmade quilt presented by Mary Ann Curran in memory of her husband Bernie. The real story was not the large amount of money that this quilt brought into the foundation, but rather that a group of many, and I mean many members, had pooled their funds together to purchase the quilt so it could be returned to its proper place, Bernie’s family. This was a very emotional event for many of us. Once again, reminders of who we are as an organization and the love and respect we have for so many of our members who have dedicated their lives to improve the knowledge, health, and welfare of swine worldwide. Our organization came together to recognize the respect and gratitude we have to those who serve the industry. This moment was an inspirational moment and a great reminder of how proud I am to be part of the AASV!”

From Mark Hammer

“It is always exciting to attend the AASV meetings for several reasons … the opportunity to travel to a different place but always seeing familiar people. Our meetings are a time to hear new information, catch up with friends, and change your paradigm. A favorite memory is difficult because most of my memories are insightful. Discussing the clinical aspects of swine practice with colleagues or the newest scientific findings with our research colleagues are all memories which I cherish. We have an eclectic group of some of the best veterinary practitioners and scientists I know. It is always reassuring that we are gathered to learn about improving pig health, share ideas, and change our paradigms, which ultimately lead to more affordable pig meat for the world.”

From Paul Sundberg

“One of the most interesting things to watch during the AASV meetings through the years is the transition from the old guard to the new practitioners that takes place each year, over the years. There is a wealth of talent that is coming into the industry.

But I think one of the most unique meetings was the 1997 one in Quebec City. It was March and it was Quebec. Riding the shuttle in from the airport, we passed houses that had a trail dug through the snow that was 6 feet or better on each side. You could only see snow – the front of the house was completely hidden. Orlando was a long way away. During one of the outings, we were bussed somewhere into the woods to sample the maple sugar and syrup products. The combination of adult beverages and concentrated, concentrated sugar was a unique experience that was remembered well for quite a few days after.”

From Harry Snelson

“I suppose the single moment that stands out in my mind as one of my best memories actually occurred at last year’s meeting in San Diego when a group of AASV members banded together to purchase the quilt for Bernie Curran’s wife and family. That symbolized to me the great caring and respect that our members have for each other. It is a moment that I will always remember. But, there are memorable moments at every annual meeting and those usually occur in the hallways between sessions. That’s when I get a chance to renew old friendships and catch up with folks that I don’t get the chance to interact with on a frequent basis. It’s also the time when I get to mingle with students and recent graduates and hear about their experiences and plans for the future, as well as those folks that helped shape my career. While I always enjoy the high quality scientific sessions at every meeting, it’s the hallway encounters that provide the personality that is AASV.”

-- Tracy Ann Raef