Judging from the feedback I received, the 1998 meeting was a great success. I want to thank the program committee, the speakers, and especially Tom Burkgren and Sue Schulteis for all the work they did to make the meeting a success. There were 636 paid registrants, approximately 50 of whom were not able to get to Des Moines because of the storm. In addition, there were 140 speakers, 76 students, and 134 tech table representatives. It adds up to a big meeting.
I also want to thank again the companies who had tech tables, and those who sponsored events at the meeting. The meeting would be more difficult to conduct and more expensive to the members without the help of our commercial sponsors.
Al Scheidt is already hard at work planning the 1999 meeting. He has an excellent committee in place and they will be meeting on June 5 in Des Moines. If you have ideas on how the meeting could be improved, topics that need to be addressed, or timely sessions that would benefit the members, contact Al. I know that he will appreciate your input.
Congratulations to Bob Morrison on being elected Vice President of the AASP. Bob is well known to most members, having served as Executive Editor of the Journal of Swine Health and Production for 7 years. He is also a past winner of the Meritorious Service Award. Bob will be energetic and enthusiastic in his new role, I'm sure.
As we leave the 1998 meeting behind and return to our practices and other places of business, there are a number of critical areas in which the AASP needs to remain or become active. We are all aware of the inter-related issues of antimicrobial resistance and drug availability. The AASP Pharmaceutical Issues Committee has been active in addressing and dealing with these issues. In addition, we need to be spending more time on foreign animal disease preparedness and surveillance and early detection of other disease threats. We will continue to work with the NPPC on the issues of food safety, pork quality assurance, and environmental assurance.
As you can see, the AASP has a full plate. We need the input and talents of all the members in order to move forward. If you have suggestions, concerns or any other input, contact me, one of the other officers, your district director, or our Executive Director.