This year, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) will celebrate 50 years of progress at our annual meeting. What a tremendous accomplishment! In this issue’s message, I want to highlight some features of our organization that I feel are part of our past success and will continue to be important in the future.
What are the things that have made our organization Built to Last and are inherent in our success and longevity?
Members. Our membership is a strength of the AASV. The individual strengths and perspectives each of us brings to the collective benefit of all is simply amazing.
Staff. For an organization our size, we are blessed to have a very capable and competent staff. Their dedication is obvious in the AASV activities and operations.
Commitment to mission. The AASV has held true to its core mission throughout the years. The mission has not always been exactly the same, undergoing periodic revisions over time to reflect new focus. I’ve included our current Mission for your review.
I think we are doing a fabulous job advancing our mission, what do you think?
Annual meeting. The annual meeting is the cornerstone of our organization. It provides an excellent opportunity for swine veterinarians to gain education on current topics and a venue for professional interaction. This networking event is important to veterinarians, students, academics, and industry professionals. I hope to see you in Orlando this spring for our 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting!
Organizational structure. Our organizational bylaws govern our activities. Our board of directors, elected by the membership, meets twice per year to review the organization’s activities and take actions. Our committees meet once a year in person at the annual meeting and have the opportunity to meet more often by conference call. Committees have been active in advancing position statements and initiatives for the AASV Board to consider.
Financial stability. Our organization has never been financially stronger. Our balance sheet is reviewed twice a year by the Board of Directors. Our budget is developed by a three-member committee and approved each year by the Board of Directors. Our financial records are reviewed by an independent accounting firm once a year. We believe that we are well positioned financially to take advantage of new opportunities and withstand challenges we may encounter. The AASV Foundation continues to grow and provide opportunities in support of our mission. This year provides an additional opportunity for the Foundation to grow; I hope you will consider the multiple ways to lend your financial support.
Innovation. Our organization has been willing to change when needed. One example is changing our name from American Association of Swine Practitioners to American Association of Swine Veterinarians to make our organization more identifiable to others. We have seen the need for the formation of new organizations, like the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization, serving as a founding organizational member. We have been willing to start new member services, like the Summer Conference, and discontinuing them when the need and value to membership subsides. We give thought to the formation of new committees and have sunset them when they are no longer needed.
Research. Robust research is part of our membership and organizational culture. Many of our members are actively engaged in research as their principal focus. Other members serve on boards or committees that decide what research is important for swine and determine financial support for research proposals. Our AASV Foundation funds several research projects each year and provides support for students engaged in research.
Environment. Our culture has fostered a very inclusive environment for the sharing of new ideas and commitment to solving new problems in swine health and welfare. When there is dissent, it is shared in a very respectful and productive way.
Leadership. We have been blessed to have Dr Burkgren’s leadership as executive director for almost half of our organization’s existence. I am very pleased in the selection of Dr Harry Snelson as his successor. It has been an honor for me to have served as president this year. Thank you very much for this opportunity.
I hope you are as proud of our heritage and excited as I am for the next 50 years!
C. Scanlon Daniels, DVM