Three years ago, I wrote asking you to consider voting for me as a candidate for vice president of the AASV. I thank you for the confidence you placed in me to become part of the leadership team for the AASV these past 3 years. The things that I spoke to you about at that time are still things that are important to me and to this organization. They include:
1. Involvement in organized veterinary medicine at the local, state, and national levels;
2. Working to make our continuing-education opportunities the best that they can be;
3. Working to increase membership; and
4. Continuing support of veterinary students and their recruitment into swine medicine.
Involvement of food-animal veterinarians is very important at all levels of veterinary medicine. The demographics of our profession have changed, just as the demographics of the consumer population have changed. Fewer veterinarians are involved in food-animal production as the number of people farming has diminished. Food-animal veterinarians have to participate at a higher percentage and at all levels to maintain a voice for animal agriculture. The AASV must maintain a certain number of its members in the AVMA to maintain our seats in the House of Delegates. Having a voice at the state and local levels can be very important to food-animal veterinarians at the national level.
One of the core missions of our organization is to provide continuing education to our membership. The annual meeting continues to be the premier opportunity for swine veterinarians worldwide to obtain cutting-edge knowledge on swine diseases. The use of this scientific knowledge in everyday practice is what makes swine veterinarians assets to the clients that they serve. Finding new ways to provide quality continuing education to our membership is a constant goal for this organization.
Increasing membership is needed to allow us to continue to be an advocate for our profession. Retention of members is just as important as recruitment of new members. This organization has done an excellent job of providing veterinary students the opportunity to attend and participate in our annual meeting. Our members also do a good job of mentoring students and providing externships for more hands-on experience in the practice of swine medicine. The AASV Foundation and our industrial partners have been very instrumental in providing scholarships and stipends for attending the meetings and for externships. The foundation also supports research, and its endowed funds support the two keynote presentations at our annual meeting. I would encourage all members to support the AASV Foundation and its fund-raising efforts.
As my time as president of this organization comes to an end, I want to thank the AASV staff and the work they do every day to represent our members on many fronts. Drs Burkgren, Schulteis, and Snelson are dedicated to advancing the AASV and do an excellent job on our behalf every day. But I think they would be the first to admit that they cannot do it alone. They need the talents and time of members of our association to serve on committees at the AVMA, NPB, and other organizations. I have come to appreciate the time that many of our members give to the AASV. I would like to say thank you to them for their time and efforts. I would also like to thank my fellow officers, Drs Paul Ruen, Tara Donovan, and Matt Anderson, for their help, advice, and efforts on the executive committee this year. The organization is in good hands. We also have two very strong vice-presidential candidates this year. I would also like to thank the staff of JSHAP for the excellent job they do in producing a professional journal for our membership. We should all especially extend a thank you to Dr Catherine Dewey for her time and efforts as executive editor. She has truly made it a journal that we can all be proud of.
Many challenges face animal agriculture and the veterinary profession. These challenges come as economic, disease, and social pressures. We all have to step up and be a part of the solutions to these issues.
-- Randy Jones, DVM