Foundation News
AASV Foundation holds successful 2011 auction

Fun and good times were had by all at the AASV Foundation annual fund-raising auction in Phoenix, Arizona. Combined, the silent and live auctions raised $65,529 to support Foundation programs including student travel stipends, research projects, scholarships, student externships, summer internships, awards, and other opportunities to enhance the personal and professional aspects of swine veterinary medicine. The Foundation thanks all who donated items and participated in the auction by bidding.

A new addition to this year’s auction was the raffling of a piggy bank donated by auction chair Dr Warren Wilson. Attendees purchased chances to guess the value of the coins contained in the bank. Dr Wilson had been collecting coins in the bank since he graduated from veterinary school shall we say “a few years ago.” The raffle raised $650 and was won by Dr Joe Connor, who guessed the exact value of the coins at $25.

Just like a bad penny, last year’s pig tie showed up again. This time Dr Larry Rueff, who bought the tie last year, offered it up for sale, and Dr Jim Bradford won the bidding contest at $575. To enhance the value of his purchase, Jim had Larry sign the tie. Something tells me that’s not the last we’ve seen of that tie. Another highlight of the evening was the introduction of AASV Foundation rookie auctioneer Shamus Brown. Brown, a student at the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, showed his auctioneer style as he energized the crowd and shared the duties with veteran auctioneer Dr Tom Burkgren.

Without a doubt, the auction has been the major fundraiser for the Foundation. It’s also been a fun-filled social event for attendees at the annual meeting: 2011 was no different. The largest purchase of the evening went to Mrs Nancy Olsen. She purchased a Polaris Sportsman 500 H.O. Touring ATV, donated by PIC, for $7000. The second-largest purchase of the evening was made by Dr Randy Simonson with Newport Laboratories – $5900 for four box seats at Lambeau Field for an upcoming Minnesota Vikings-Green Bay Packers regular season football game.

The silent auction, which concluded during the Monday night reception, raised $16,154. Some of the unique items included a couple of early 1900’s pig weathervanes donated by Fairmont Veterinary Clinic and two handmade American Girl Doll outfits donated by Jill Kolb. The doll outfits brought over $50 each! The electronic items also fared well, including an Apple iPad and Bose headphones and Music-To-Go package.

It’s also worth noting that you don’t necessarily have to be present to participate in the auction. Dr Paul Armbrecht submitted his bids to the AASV office before departing on a trip to Russia. He netted six of the nine items he bid on. So there’s no excuse for not participating.

A special thanks goes to the ring men: Kent Andersen, Shamus Brown, Tom Burkgren, Howard Hill, Darrell Neuberger, Daryl Olsen, David Reeves, Max Rodibaugh, and John Waddell, who kept the bids coming; and the following whose behind-the-scenes and front-end help were invaluable: Pat Banwart, Karen Richardson, Lee Schulteis, Sue Schulteis, Tina Smith, and Harry Snelson.

Dr Warren Wilson, chair of the AASV Foundation, is already planning for next year. He thought about retiring but he’s been challenged to stay on as chair until we have a $100,000 auction. So there’s our “Mile High” challenge for 2012 in Denver – let’s set a record so Warren can retire!

AASV Executive Director Dr Tom Burkgren (left) shared auctioneer duties with ISU veterinary student Shamus Brown (right)

Photos courtesy of Tina Smith

The theme of family and giving was felt throughout the auction. Here, Heidi Kaisand, wife of AASV member Dr Jeff Kaisand, is shown with their children Virginia, Goldie, and Henry in front of the quilt, “Homeward Bound,” that she handcrafted and donated to the Foundation auction. Dr Mark Engle (right) purchased the quilt.

Photo courtesy of Dr Jeff Kaisand

AASV Foundation announces recipients of Hogg Scholarship

Dr Alejandro “Alex” Ramirez and Dr Jeremy Pittman were named the 2011 recipients of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians Foundation Hogg Scholarship. The scholarship was presented during the association’s annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.

Established in 2008, the scholarship is named for Dr Alex Hogg, who was a leader in swine medicine and pursued a master’s degree in veterinary pathology after 20 years in a mixed-animal practice. The scholarship, in the amount of $10,000, is awarded annually to an AASV member who has been accepted into a qualified graduate program to further his or her education after years as a swine practitioner. This year’s awardees will each receive a $5000 scholarship.

Dr Alex Ramirez

Dr Ramirez is an assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine at Iowa State University (ISU) with a focus of swine production medicine. He is pursuing a PhD in veterinary microbiology with an emphasis in preventive medicine. He has developed a passion for working with veterinary students.

When notified of the award, Dr Ramirez said, “It is a great honor to receive this recognition. I have great respect and admiration for individuals like Dr Hogg who dedicated their life to helping others. Knowledge is power and I hope to continue my path of working in academia in helping better prepare future veterinarians by incorporating my years of private practice experience with my knowledge gained through my advanced degree studies.”

Dr Ramirez was born in Guadalajara, Mexico. He completed his undergraduate and DVM (1993) degrees at ISU. Following graduation, he joined a mixed-animal practice in Cherokee, Iowa. In 2004, he left practice to return to ISU where he worked for the Center for Food Security and Public Health while obtaining a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Iowa. In 2005, he began pursuing his PhD at ISU and became board certified in the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine in 2006. He plans to complete his PhD in 2011.

Dr Ramirez is very active in the AASV, participating in the Advanced Techniques Conference and pre-conference workshops, serving on the Foreign Animal Disease and Collegiate Activities Committees and as chair of the Student Seminar at the annual meeting. In addition, Dr Ramirez serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Swine Health and Production. Dr Ramirez also represented AASV on the North American Veterinary Medical Education Consortium. He also serves on the National Pork Board’s Producer Safety and Public Health subcommittee, the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association’s Swine Winter Program Committee, and the Iowa Pork Producers Association’s Swine Health/Animal Well Being Committee.

He is the author of numerous scientific papers, books, and chapters on swine disease control and epidemiology. Dr Ramirez is also a frequent guest speaker at veterinary and producer meetings, in addition to being responsible for course lectures and scientific reviews.

Mary Lou Hogg presents the Alex Hogg Scholarship award to Dr Alex Ramirez during the AASV Annual Meeting

Photo courtesy of Tina Smith

Dr Jeremy Pittman

Dr Jeremy Pittman obtained his DVM (2004) from the North Carolina State University (NCSU) College of Veterinary Medicine. Since that time, he has worked as a staff veterinarian for Murphy-Brown’s Waverly Division in Waverly, Virginia. Although he grew up in southeastern North Carolina, Dr Pittman did not have an agricultural background. He became interested in the swine industry during his undergraduate sophomore year at NCSU after taking a swine management class. Swine medicine has since become his profession and passion.

“Being selected for the 2011 Hogg Scholarship is a tremendous honor,” commented Dr Pittman. “I did not know Dr Alex Hogg personally, but his desire to continually improve his level of knowledge is a goal that I hope to emulate in my career. This award will allow me to pursue one of my professional goals, while continuing to maintain my personal and professional life as it stands today. Thank you to Dr Alex Hogg, his wife Mary Lou, and the AASV Foundation for selecting me as one of the recipients of this year’s Hogg Scholarship.”

Dr Pittman has been active in the AASV since joining as a veterinary student in 2000. He has served on multiple AASV committees, including the Student Recruitment, Professional Development, and Advanced Techniques Conference committees. In addition, he has given multiple presentations during the AASV Annual Meeting and has chaired a pre-conference session. He is currently pursuing board certification through the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners and will be sitting for examination in March 2012.

Dr Pittman has authored five manuscripts published in the Journal of Swine Health and Production, as well as a number of non-peer-reviewed publications. He is currently an adjunct clinical faculty member at the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine and enrolled in the Certificate Program of Veterinary Preventative Medicine at Iowa ISU. He is working with ISU to complete a master’s degree through this program while continuing his fulltime role as staff veterinarian at Murphy-Brown’s Waverly Division.

Dr Pittman currently resides in Wakefield, Virginia.

Mary Lou Hogg presents the Alex Hogg Scholarship award to Dr Jeremy Pittman during the AASV Annual Meeting

Photo courtesy of Tina Smith