AASP vice-presidential candidates

January and February, 1998

Robert Morrison

I recently was telling a colleague of my intention to run for AASP office and he asked me, "Why on earth do you want to do that?" Basically, I'm doing it because I want to give back some part of what the AASP has given me.

I was first exposed to the AASP in 1980 when I came to the Annual Meeting, which happened to be in Minneapolis that year. To put it mildly, I was in awe. Here I was, a new vet from O'Leary, Prince Edward Island, Canada rubbing shoulders with people who I had only heard or read about--Alex Hogg, Al Leman, and Ralph Vinson to name a few. I devoured the proceedings, took detailed notes, and left with a sense of excitement for my profession.

Since then, the AASP has continued to provide me with opportunities. I have been fortunate to be one of the speakers at many of the Annual Meetings, including presenting the Howard Dunne lecture in 1994. In 1995, the AASP honored me with the Meritorious Service Award. And AASP leadership has supported me in our efforts with the journal, Swine Health and Production.

I have three primary objectives if I am elected Vice-President:

  • I want to do what I can to help the AASP thrive and grow. We need successful swine practitioners to have an AASP. But, equally as important, a successful AASP helps to create successful swine practitioners. Belonging to a professional organization such as the AASP gives its members access to one another and to the latest information, and keeps them abreast of the issues affecting the industry. The first objective of the AASP is to "endeavor to do all things necessary to promote the interests, to improve the public stature, and to increase the knowledge of veterinarians in the field of swine practice." Belonging to a strong AASP gives members a sense of confidence and confidence begets action. We know that action creates change. If veterinarians want to be on the leading edge and to have a part in creating change, then we must have a strong AASP.
  • I have been the Executive Editor of Swine Health and Production since its inception five years ago. We had two major goals when we created this journal and the web site:
    • to give members a source of professional pride; and
    • to make Swine Health and Production a single source for applied swine science.
  • We have made considerable progress towards accomplishing these goals through the financial support of our industry sponsors, our excellent journal staff, and the confidence of AASP leadership. I will be turning over the Executive Editorship to a new person, and doing what I can to support that person's goals for Swine Health and Production and the AASP web site.
  • My second objective is to further the goal of having AASP members lead the international effort to produce safe pork. This is consistent with the second, third, and fifth objectives of AASP, which are to "elevate standards of swine practice," to "promote the relationship between swine practitioners, the swine industry, and the public," and to "cooperate with veterinary and agricultural organizations and regulatory agencies." Dr. Tom Wetzell is the practitioner designated to represent us on issues of food safety. As an elected officer of AASP, I will work with Drs. Wetzell, Beth Lautner at the NPPC, Tom Burkgren, and others to assure that we are doing all that is possible to ensure that practitioners have a leading role in preharvest food safety procedures.
  • My third objective is to continue to promote membership in the AASP, both nationally and internationally. I believe strongly that we have everything to gain from continuing to expand our international membership. International members bring different paradigms, ideas, and beliefs. Some of us are afraid of giving away our knowledge, but the secret to success in our industry is implementation of strategy, not knowledge. My colleague, Thomas Blaha, puts it well when he says "the days of making money from the ignorance of our clients are gone." This goal is consistent with AASP's fourth objective of working to "promote understanding and goodwill among its members."

I believe I am qualified to serve as your officer. I have a broad education (DVM 1979; PhD 1984; MBA 1995) and experience in private practice (PEI, Canada; and Faribault, Minnesota), international development (two years in Colombia with the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations), and consulting. My current faculty responsibilities at the University of Minnesota include teaching, outreach, research, and service. I am also involved in a family-owned, 1400-sow multiplication herd. I participate in the local community as a hockey coach. In addition, our three children keep my wife, Jeanie, and me hopping with school, sports, theater, and music activities.

In closing, I would like to do what I can to serve you as your new AASP officer. I believe I have much to offer and the experience and ability to accomplish my objectives. If you support these objectives and believe they are achievable, I would appreciate your vote.