AASV Vice-Presidential candidate

Rick Sibbel, a native of Nebraska, received his DVM from Iowa State University in 1979. He started his veterinary career in O'Neill, Nebraska, in the same year. The practice he co-owned with two other veterinarians grew to a four-person practice before he moved on to a career in Industrial Veterinary Medicine in 1986.

His industrial career has seen five company names and many changes. Rick's positions have included everything from the feed industry to technical services to business management. He has had a hand in many new vaccine developments, including such innovations as genetically engineered vaccines and viral vectored vaccines. He has become accomplished in the area of Pseudorabies and the use of vaccines for eradication, and continues to be a resource used by many state and regional regulatory agencies. He also plays a significant and ongoing role in the understanding of vaccine use in managing emerging swine influenza disease.

Rick has found time to serve on the Board of Directors for the National Institute of Animal Agriculture and several committees at the AASV and the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association. He nurtures business interests and most recently co-managed a multi-million dollar division of Schering Plough Animal Health.

His wife, Kathy, and two children, Scott (20) and Amy (17), have talked to him from locations around the globe as he travels and lectures on swine veterinary medicine. He continues to be very active in his local community, Ankeny, Iowa, serving on the local school board and volunteering at Our Lady's Immaculate Heart Church. He has coached several youth sports programs and served on youth development boards. He enjoys watching his children play high school and college sports and plays golf and hunts when time allows.

When asked "Why the AASV? " Rick answered, "It has provided me with wonderful opportunities and many influential resources. I remember Bob Morrison, in his recent candidacy comments, said he wanted to give back some part of what the AASV has given him. I echo that thought and wish to give back some time and energy to the AASV."

Further comments from Rick

"As many of you know, I have served in many phases of production agriculture as a practicing veterinarian and as an industrial veterinarian. I've seen many of the economic highs and lows that production agriculture has to offer. I continue to marvel at the adaptations that have been necessary to survive and prosper in swine production. I have traveled extensively (both domestically and internationally) and have seen regional and global innovations in swine production and management, and recognize how well they fit with future opportunities in swine production.

Change in our industry is such an overused term and yet, it still fits the best. Just when we think we can solve most disease issues with two- and three-site production systems, new health challenges push us to new theories and practices. Most of us in swine veterinary medicine have had to evolve from traditional diagnostics, therapeutics, and surgery to information analysis and business management. Computer and interactive data abilities will accentuate these changes, as we proceed to move and assess information about pigs to satisfy escalating demands from consumers and meat quality issues.

My thoughts about some challenges and opportunities ahead for the AASV

Research dollars dedicated for swine and swine issues will become increasingly difficult to find. The AASV will find itself more involved in prioritizing and recommending strategies for finding and using available research dollars. Leadership at the AASV will have to be well versed in all available resources for research funding.

Development of new and enhanced animal health products for the swine industry will slow, because the market potential can't match Wall Street demands. New business strategies will have to be developed to encourage small niche business opportunities. Further consolidation of the support industries is likely, and reduction of the number of companies will put pressure on available funding that the AASV has so long enjoyed. Leadership will have to address these funding trends.

Publication of pertinent swine veterinary research issues is well served by the Journal of Swine Health and Production. This journal has earned an influential reputation within swine academia (kudos to those people responsible). Continuation of this very important service to the members will be essential and demanding, as acceptable alternatives will not be nearly as user friendly and swine-focused.

Politically, the AASV will find itself being called on more and more to assist and give direction to the "food community." AASV leadership will by necessity have to be astute and accomplished in the "political influence" maneuvers.

Continued consolidation of the swine production business will change the landscape of swine health and production. Those of us who earn our living supporting the swine business will be pushed to continually validate our usefulness for this changing business climate. This ongoing change will put pressure on membership numbers for the AASV. Constant attention to this challenge will be necessary to keep the AASV a strong, viable influence in the business of food manufacturing.

The internet is a business behemoth and will play several key roles in this organization as information and the management of information becomes more accessible to all the members, industry partners, and producers. Using this resource effectively will be a mandate as the AASV progresses through the next 10 years.

There will be other challenges facing the AASV as the century unfolds. If elected, I would give of my time and energy to assist the organization in managing these opportunities as skillfully as possible. I am convinced that opportunities have never been more abundant as we go forward in the 21st century.

If you see the needs of the AASV in a manner similar to this, I would appreciate your vote in the upcoming election."