I am honored by the nomination for vice president of the AASV. I have always enjoyed being involved with the organization and the ability to learn and grow within it. I am excited about the opportunity to serve and give back to an organization that has done so much for me.
I grew up on a diversified livestock farm including swine, beef, dairy, and crops in Southwest Iowa. My parents taught my brother and me the discipline to get the daily chores done; there is no good substitute for hard work. My father always tried to plan the work ahead and said get things done today that you know need to be done so you don’t have to worry about it tomorrow, because you never know what surprises will come tomorrow. This work ethic is what my wife Lori and I try to carry out with our son, Adam, today.
I received my DVM from Iowa State University in 1985. One of my top five personality traits is learner, so I’m always eager to learn new material. I have gone on for further education after graduation, including a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota in 1998 and the Executive Veterinary Program at the University of Illinois. Although I have really enjoyed the formal parts of these programs, the best part is learning from my classmates and colleagues at meetings. The opportunity to share experiences, both good and bad, is always fun. It’s easy to let the time slip away in these discussions and miss some of the main meeting agendas.
I have served on several AASV committees, including the Swine Health Committee, PRRS Subcommittee, and PRRS Eradication Task Force. I have also had the opportunity to be on several of the annual meeting planning committees and organize different sections. I serve on the PADRAP committee to help with the continued development of this tool for the membership. I started out on the PRV eradication committee for the National Pork Board that turned into the Swine Health Committee and have enjoyed the interaction to work with the NPB directly. I have had the opportunity to organize the swine session at the Minnesota annual veterinary meeting and the North American Veterinary Conference.
I have had a focus on disease eradication and how we can reduce the impact of pathogens in our herds and pigs. I believe we will continue to find new ways to attack some of the current diseases, as well as new ones we haven’t even thought of yet. I believe our only limitation is in not being creative enough to find new solutions.
As a learner, I enjoy research and the opportunity to work on new ideas and information. I’m always interested in what other people are doing and what other opportunities we can look at for our own clients and herds.
My goals for the office:
As vice president, to continue the legacy of learning in the AASV and continue to work to improve the opportunities for the current formal meetings, as well as look for new ways to increase interaction, allowing practitioners to learn from each other, and to continue the JSHAP as a valuable resource for the membership.
To continue to have a good working relationship with NPB and make sure that both organizations can continue to complement each other: as an example, the implementation of PQA Plus and We Care initiatives to take to the public that the industry is responsible in doing the job that everyone expects. These types of activities will only help to strengthen both organizations.
I have actively been involved with many research projects and would like to see more work in this area by the organization – realizing that funding is never easy, but we will need to be creative to get this done.
To continue to encourage mentoring of new students into swine veterinary medicine, both within the organization and in our home practices. This is the future of our organization and our profession.
The AASV has had a very good history of education and serving as a voice for the organization. It will continue to require more research, education, and training to move forward, but I believe the membership has these capabilities and will continue to grow and improve. I would like to have the opportunity to help in this process.