President's message

July and August, 1998

Greetings from Bowling Green. As I write this message, farmers are in the fields getting in the rest of the delayed corn crop (southern Kentucky enjoyed rain almost every day from mid-April to mid-May) and I am spending 3-5 nights a week at the baseball park.

World Pork Expo (WPX) will have come and gone by the time this is published. Several AASP activities will occur in conjunction with this event. Some of our members will once again be speakers at the pre-Expo Pork Academy or at the WPX educational seminars. The Public Relations Committee is busy preparing our booth and promoting our members. Others are assisting with the PQA booth or the Pork Pro Center. The 1999 Annual Meeting Planning Committee, chaired by President-elect Al Scheidt, will be meeting on June 5 to plan next year's meeting. The Budget Committee, chaired by Vice-President Bob Morrison, will be meeting soon to allocate next year's budget.

Several committees are being re-organized. The Nutrition Committee, after several years of able leadership from Dave Smidt, is now chaired by Keith Wilson. They are planning to meet in conjunction with WPX as well. Cate Dewey has elected to step down as chair of the Collegiate Activities Committee. That committee will be co-chaired now by two enthusiastic AASP members: Sandy Amass and Tom Fangman. The Food Safety Committee is working diligently on the development of a set of Good Production Practices (GPP) standards.

In addition to the activities just discussed, we are co-sponsoring a bid with Iowa State University and the National Pork Producers Council to host the International Pig Veterinary Society Meeting in 2002. Hank Harris is chairing this effort, assisted by Howard Hill and Bob Glock on the Finance Committee, Bob Morrison and Jeff Zimmerman on the Scientific Program Committee, John Thomson as the Social Activities and Local Planning Chair, and Tom Burkgren in the administrative area. This is an outstanding group of individuals and I believe that they will be successful in the bid that will take place in Birmingham, England about the time this is published.

We are also in the process of establishing two new committees: a Foreign Animal Disease/Emergency Disease Preparedness Committee and a Biosecurity Committee are in the works. These committees will be charged with examining what is known and not known about the subject areas and educating our members about them. The Swine Health Committee, our largest and most active committee, has been addressing these issues in some of their work; however, they have a full slate of other health related issues. The Executive Committee believes that the two areas mentioned above are important enough and the time is right to have full committees working on them. In addition, we are working on an appointment to a joint working group, in conjunction with the Livestock Conservation Institute (LCI), USAHA, APHIS, and the NPPC to develop long-range planning for PRV surveillance after states and the United States reach free status. By the time you read this, our representative will have been appointed and will have been involved in some of the initial meetings. We need input from veterinarians in the field on these critical issues that affect pig production and your practice.

The Pharmaceutical Issues Committee continues to be active in the interrelated areas of drug availability and antimicrobial resistance to antibiotics. In June, Tom Burkgren was an invited speaker at the World Health Organization Meeting on the "Use of Quinolones in Food Animals and Potential Impact on Human Health." Although the meeting was billed as specifically addressing quinolones, the arguments developed and the positions put forward will be applied to other antimicrobials. Related to this issue, we nominated John Waddell to be appointed to a Steering Committee on Judicious Drug Use that is being developed by the AVMA. Shortly before this message went to press, we received news of the confirmation of his appointment. This was not an automatic appointment, as there were more nominees than positions on this committee. His appointment is testimony to the AASP's and Dr. Waddell's credibility with AVMA.

As you can see, the AASP is involved in the issues that are vital to the swine industry and to our profession, and is leading the way on many of them. We need the input and direction that comes from an active membership.

I hope you have had a good summer so far. More news in the September edition.