Annual meeting report
Record attendance marks 40th AASV Annual Meeting
This year’s annual meeting in Dallas, Texas, drew strong attendance from AASV members and exhibitors, surpassing the previous record-setting attendance at the 1997 annual meeting in Quebec, Canada. A total of 1008 registrants from 31 countries gathered in the Lone Star State to participate in the 2009 program, “Securing our future.” International attendance continues to hold steady at 27% and student attendance at the meeting rose to 144, nearly 60% of the student membership.
Howard Dunne Memorial Lecture
“Securing our future is not a spectator sport,” urged Dr John U. Thomson, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University.
“For a secure future, swine veterinarians must remain a recognized and valued resource for the production of safe, affordable, and available pork,” said Dr Thomson, who delivered the Howard Dunne Memorial Lecture at the 2009 annual meeting.
“Swine veterinarians must take a leadership role toward continuous improvement,” he said. “It will be critical for them to establish the best practices of production that meet or exceed society’s expectations associated with public health, animal welfare, and the environment.”
“The swine industry and the veterinary profession need to find ways to address our weaknesses,” Dr Thomson said. He explained that new technologies allow communications and idea-sharing more quickly and easily; consequently, veterinarians have the ability to collaborate on a scale previously unthinkable. “Complacency and risk aversion are our major obstacles,” he said.
He challenged veterinarians to create an open source process that would bring diverse disciplines together to develop best practices for the production of pork.
Alex Hogg Memorial Lecture
Dr Larry Firkins, assistant dean of public engagement at the University of Illinois’ College of Veterinary Medicine, gave the Alex Hogg Memorial Lecture titled “Getting there from here.” He focused on people management as an unrealized opportunity for swine veterinarians to improve business profitability. “We understand managing pigs but I am not convinced that we know how to manage people,” Dr Firkins said. Getting from here to there, says Dr Firkins, involves optimizing the contributions of our employees towards the mission of the organization. During the lecture, he talked about his own road to professional improvement through advanced training in scientific and business disciplines. He encouraged swine veterinarians to explore all considerations before obtaining an advanced degree, noting that his own quest of two degrees, an MS and MBA, have been worthwhile endeavors.
Swine Practitioner of the Year
Dr John T. Waddell was honored as the 2009 Swine Practitioner of the Year. He is a food-animal practitioner in Sutton, Nebraska, where he has practiced since 1981.
“I am honored to receive this recognition from my peers within AASV,” Dr Waddell said as he received the award. “It is very humbling to know the commitment and dedication of those who have been previously recognized and the many outstanding colleagues who have yet to be honored. I have been truly blessed with a wonderful wife and family as well as outstanding clients who have believed in me and offered me the opportunity to be a part of, and serve, them and their industry.”
Dr Waddell has held a number of leadership positions in the AASV. He is the alternate delegate representing the association on the AVMA Legislative Action Committee. In 2004, he was president of the AASV. He also served 3 years on the association’s board of directors representing Nebraska and South Dakota, and chaired both the Public Relations Committee and the Pharmaceutical Issues Committee. In 1998, Dr Waddell received the association’s Meritorious Service Award for his leadership on several important issues affecting swine practitioners.
Dr Waddell has been an active member in organized veterinary medicine at the national level. He currently represents food-animal medicine on the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents and he is the vice-chair of the Clinical Practitioners Advisory Committee. He formerly chaired the AVMA’s Steering Committee on Antimicrobial Resistance.
He was appointed to the Food and Drug Administration’s Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee, serving as its chair in 2003-2004. Dr Waddell is a consultant to many US and European companies involved in improving swine health.
He is a 1981 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. In 1994, he earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He is a graduate of the Nebraska Leadership, Education, Action and Development program. Dr Waddell is also a certified private pilot. Currently he is enrolled in the University of Illinois Executive Veterinary Program in Swine Health Management and will complete the program in April 2009.
Dr Waddell and his wife, Carol, live in Sutton, Nebraska. They have three sons, J. D. and Joe, who are both aviators in the US Air Force, and Jess, who is a third-year veterinary student at Iowa State University.
Howard Dunne Memorial Award
Dr Kent J. Schwartz received the 2009 Howard Dunne Memorial Award, recognizing an AASV member who has made important contributions and provided outstanding service to the association and the swine industry.
Since 1989, Dr Schwartz has been a veterinary diagnostician at Iowa State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Ames, Iowa. Each year he reviews 2500 submissions from veterinarians, providing test-results interpretation and consultation. He also instructs and mentors fourth-year veterinary students, and conducts field investigations, research, and continuing education seminars.
As part of his outreach and service to the pork industry, Dr Schwartz has published numerous audio-visual educational materials, including an AASV necropsy guide and video, the Swine Disease Manual, and a Purdue Pork Industry Handbook. He has authored over 75 articles and proceedings papers in veterinary and producer publications. Dr Schwartz is a frequent guest speaker at local, state, national, and international meetings on swine health and production. He is also a principal investigator on numerous research projects on swine health and diseases.
Prior to joining the staff at Iowa State University, Dr Schwartz was the research director for Team Associates in Story City, Iowa, where he provided study design and implementation plans and final investigator reports for commercial companies and other agencies until 2005.
After graduation from veterinary school, Dr Schwartz was a mixed-animal practitioner in Iowa and a feedlot consultant serving clients in Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, and Arizona.
Dr Schwartz is a district director representing Iowa on the AASV Board of Directors, and is a member of the AASV Swine Health Committee. His professional memberships also include the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, American Association of Bovine Practitioners, Academy of Veterinary Consultants, American Veterinary Medical Association, and the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association.
A native of Iowa, Dr Schwartz received his DVM (1978) and MS (1987) degrees from Iowa State University. He and his wife, Audrey, who is also a veterinarian, and five children reside in Gilbert, Iowa.
Meritorious Service Award
Dr Rodney Johnson received the Meritorious Service Award in recognition of his outstanding service to the association. Dr Johnson is the chief executive officer of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Professional Liability Trust Association.
For nearly 40 years, Dr Johnson has been an active member and volunteer in the association, serving in a number of leadership positions. In 1985, he was the president of the AASV, having risen through the officer ranks. He was the chair of the program committee in 1984. He was the 1982 Swine Practitioner of the Year and the 1995 Howard Dunne Memorial Lecturer. He is best known for his efforts on behalf of the AASV Foundation where he has been instrumental in raising funds through the annual auctions and golf outings. His zeal and passion for the foundation fostered the same among the association membership. A tireless volunteer, he and his wife, Jean, increased the visibility of the foundation.
Dr Johnson is a former chair of the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association’s Political Action Committee and former chair of the swine program at the North American Veterinary Conference. He is a member of the Minnesota Academy of Veterinary Practice and the Presidents Club at the University of Minnesota.
Dr Johnson is a 1970 graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. In 1995 he completed the Executive Veterinary Program in Swine Health Management at the University of Illinois. He is a former private practitioner and consultant in the swine industry. He was an adjunct clinical professor for 7 years at the veterinary college at the University of Illinois and an associate clinical professor for 10 years at the University of Minnesota.
Dr Johnson and his wife, Jean, live in Aurora, Illinois.
Young Swine Veterinarian of the Year
Dr Michael Pierdon was honored as the 2009 Young Swine Veterinarian of the Year. The award recognizes an AASV member 5 or less years post graduation who has demonstrated the ideals of exemplary service and proficiency early in his or her career.
Dr Pierdon was born in Michigan, moving to Pennsylvania when he was 5 years old. Not having been exposed to animal agriculture as a child, he became interested in animal agriculture and husbandry while he was an undergraduate at Virginia Tech. It was during his third year in veterinary college that he focused on swine medicine and was named “top presenter” in the 2004 AASV Student Seminar.
After graduating with his VMD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 2005, Dr Pierdon conducted research with Dr Gary Althouse on bacterial growth curves and semen extenders. In 2006, he joined the Swine Vet Center in Minnesota, where he worked for a year. Coming back to Pennsylvania, Dr Pierdon had the opportunity to purchase a swine-exclusive veterinary practice. He has owned and operated Pierdon Swine Veterinary Services since that time.
Dr Pierdon and his wife, Meghann, who is also a veterinarian, reside in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, with their 6-month-old daughter, Zoe.
Technical Services/Allied Industry Veterinarian of the Year
Dr Al Scheidt was honored as the 2009 Technical Services/Allied Industry Veterinarian of the Year Award by the American Association of Swine Veterinarians. 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 Scheidt is the manager of swine technical services for Pfizer Animal Health. In his position, he focuses on the largest swine accounts in the southeastern area of the United States, providing technical support for Pfizer products and providing disease diagnostic services and training. Dr Scheidt is also an adjunct professor at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
Prior to joining Pfizer Animal Health in 1995, Dr Scheidt was a senior technical services veterinarian at SmithKline Beecham Animal Health for 3 years. Early in his career, he taught swine production medicine at Purdue University, after serving as a swine consultant for Wayne Feeds.
Active in the AASV since 1976, Dr Scheidt served as the association’s president in 1999. From 1994-1997, he was the vice-chair of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners Swine Health Management Credentials Committee. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, and the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association.
Dr Scheidt is a frequent guest speaker on swine health and production at producer and veterinary conferences. He has also authored several articles on swine production in veterinary publications.
Dr Scheidt received his DVM (1976) and MS (1983) from Purdue University’s School of Veterinary Medicine. In 1993, he was certified by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in Swine Health Management.
Dr Scheidt and his wife, Gwyn, live in Hampstead, North Carolina.
Student seminar and scholarships
The American Association of Swine Veterinarians Foundation awarded scholarships totaling $25,000 to 15 veterinary students during the AASV annual meeting in Dallas, Texas. Brent Carmichael received the $5000 scholarship for top student presentation. Brent is a second-year veterinary student at Iowa State University. His presentation was titled “Pre-colostral stillborn piglet blood sampling procedure when a PRRSV-positive sow herd is being monitored for time-to-negative interval.” Alpharma Animal Health provided the financial support for the Top Student Presenter award.
Recipient of the $5000 Scholarship for Best Student Presenter during AASV’s Student Seminar: Brent Carmichael, Iowa State University. Pictured with Brent is Dr Rodger Schneck of Alpharma Animal Health, sponsor of the Student Seminar and Best Student Presenter Award.
Additional scholarships totaling $20,000 were provided by Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, on behalf of Elanco Animal Health.
Four veterinary student presenters received $2500 scholarships: Joe Bender, Iowa State University; Erin Kane, Kansas State University; Peter Lasley, Iowa State University; and Aaron Nystrom, University of Minnesota.
Recipients of the $2500 AASV Foundation scholarships were (from left): Erin Kane, Kansas State University; Joe Bender, Iowa State University; Aaron Nystrom, University of Minnesota; Peter Lasley, Iowa State University; and Dr Greg Armbruster, Elanco Animal Health. Scholarships were provided by Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, on behalf of Elanco Animal Health.
Receiving $1500 scholarships were Meggan Bandrick, University of Minnesota; Andrew Bents, University of Minnesota; Maria Clavijo, Universidad Central de Venezuela; Andrea Pitkin, University of Minnesota; and Jess Waddell, Iowa State University.
Recipients of the $1500 AASV Foundation scholarships were (from left): Jess Waddell, Iowa State University; Maria Clavijo, Universidad Central de Venezuela; Andrea Pitkin, University of Minnesota; Meggan Bandrick, University of Minnesota; Andrew Bents, University of Minnesota; and Dr Greg Armbruster, Elanco Animal Health. Scholarships were provided by Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, on behalf of Elanco Animal Health.
Student presenters receiving $500 scholarships were Rafael Carreon, Universedade Federal de Uberlandia; Sara Dillon, North Carolina State University; Emily McDowell, Iowa State University; Jason Norris, University of Prince Edward Island; and Andrew Zwambag, University of Guelph.
Recipients of the $500 AASV Foundation scholarships were (from left): Emily McDowell, Iowa State University; Andrew Zwambag, University of Guelph; Jason Norris, University of Prince Edward Island; Sara Dillon, North Carolina State University; Rafael Carreon, Universedade Federal de Uberlandia; and Dr Greg Armbruster, Elanco Animal Health. Scholarships were provided by Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, on behalf of Elanco Animal Health.
Forty-six veterinary students representing 17 universities submitted abstracts for consideration. From those submissions, 15 students were selected to present during the annual meeting. Alpharma Animal Health, sponsor of the Student Seminar, provided a $750 travel stipend to each student selected to participate.
Judges representing private practice, academia, and industry selected the scholarship recipients on the basis of communications skills in the writing of the abstract and the presentation of the case report, and on applicability of the research to swine medicine.
Annual Business Breakfast
Dr Kerry Keffaber reported on the association’s membership and activities. He stated that there are 1396 members and 263 student members. Dr Keffaber thanked outgoing directors, Drs Donald Davidson (District 10), Scanlon Daniels (District 7), and Lynda Gould, Student Delegate to the board, for their service. He congratulated re-elected board members, Drs Bill Minton (District 1) and John Baker (District 4), incoming director Dr Bill DuBois (District 7), and Alternate Student Delegate Daren Miller.
Dr Butch Baker, Ames, Iowa, was installed as the president of the AASV during the Business Breakfast on March 10. He succeeds Dr Kerry Keffaber, North Manchester, Indiana, who is now immediate past president. Dr Paul Ruen, Fairmont, Minnesota, has ascended to president-elect. The newly elected vice president is Dr Randy Jones, Kinston, North Carolina.
Save the dates
The 2010 annual meeting is scheduled for March 6-9, 2010, in Omaha, Nebraska.
Photo courtesy statement
All photos courtesy of Tracy Ann Raef.