Veterinarian holding a pig while nurse working trial. Thinkstock/dusanpetkovic

AASV annual meeting provides education, recognition

Swine veterinarians recently gathered in Denver, Colo., for the annual meeting of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, drawing a record attendance of 1,200 total attendees.

Source: American Association of Swine Veterinarians

Swine veterinarians recently gathered in Denver, Colo., for the annual meeting of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, drawing a record attendance of 1,200 total attendees.

Meeting participants enjoyed the opportunity to attend numerous educational sessions, including 11 pre-conference seminars, two general sessions, three break-out sessions, research topics, three industrial partners sessions, the Student Seminar and a poster session featuring 58 posters. In addition, 13 AASV committees met during the annual meeting.

Jeff Zimmerman opened the Feb. 27 general session with the Howard Dunne Memorial Lecture. His presentation, “Swine medicine in the 21st century: Immovable object meets unstoppable force” explored the conundrum facing swine veterinarians today — our highly efficient system of pork production (The Immovable Object) is jeopardized by our inability to deal with infectious disease (The Unstoppable Force), which is largely the result of the design of our highly efficient production system. One of the key takeaways from Zimmerman’s talk is that swine veterinarians need to find ways to make the swine industry more agile, and devise solutions that neutralize the power of infectious disease.

Matthew Turner presented the Alex Hogg Memorial Lecture, “One Health: roles, responsibilities and opportunities for swine veterinarians.” His presentation explored the history of the One Health movement and the opportunities for swine veterinarians, including food safety, animal welfare, antibiotic resistance and client and consumer education.

The Feb. 27 afternoon concurrent sessions allowed attendees the opportunity to delve deeper into the broad topics of swine diseases, antibiotic use and managing the reproductive herd for high health and productivity. The Feb. 28 general session addressed the issues associated with disease control and elimination.

The AASV Awards Reception was held the evening of Feb. 27, followed by the AASV Foundation’s annual fund-raising auction. John Waddell presented the Heritage Award to K.T. Wright. This is only the third time the Heritage Award has been awarded. Matt Anderson, 2013 AASV president and chair of the 2017 Awards Selection Committee, presented the recipients of the Swine Practitioner of the Year Award (Mike Eisenmenger), the Howard Dunne Memorial Award (Rodger Main), the Meritorious Service Award (Jeff Harker), the Young Swine Veterinarian of the Year Award (Josh Ellingson), and the Technical Services/Allied Industry Veterinarian of the Year Award (Tom Wetzell).

The 2017 officers – Alex Ramirez, president; Scanlon Daniels, president-elect; Nathan Winkelman, vice president; and George Charbonneau, past president, were introduced during the Annual Business Meeting the morning of Feb. 28. The board also welcomed newly re-elected district directors: Gene Nemechek (District 2), Bill Hollis (District 5), Jeff Kurt (District 9) and Blaine Tully (District 11). Charbonneau welcomed Jordan Gebhardt (Kansas State University), incoming Alternate Student Delegate to the AASV Board of Directors, and thanked outgoing Student Delegate Emily Mahan-Riggs (North Carolina State University). Brent Sexton (Iowa State University) assumes the role of Student Delegate.

This was the 48th annual AASV meeting. Of the total attendees, there were 724 paid registrants (also a record) and 146 veterinary students from 24 colleges of veterinary medicine. Conference participants hailed from 30 countries, with 245 (20% of the total) from outside the United States. The total attendance also included a record 270 exhibit representatives from 91 companies and organizations (another all-time high).

The 2018 annual meeting will be held March 3-6 in San Diego, Calif.

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