The South Dakota Pork Producers Council recently awarded Dr. Dustin Oedekoven of Pierre, S.D. with the Friends of the Industry Award during the Master Pork Producers Banquet.
The Friends of the Industry Award recognizes state individuals, leaders or businesses for their continued support of the pork industry. Oedekoven will receive a plaque for his outstanding involvement and service to the pork industry.
Oedekoven was raised on a diversified livestock and grain farm east of Sturgis, S.D. The Oedekoven family raised cattle, pigs, sheep, rabbits, and chickens. He learned swine husbandry from his mother, who managed a small farrow-to-finish operation, selling finished pigs weekly at Philip Livestock Auction. Active involvement in 4-H and FFA also helped to foster his interest in animal agriculture.
Oedekoven studied at South Dakota State University before attending Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, logging nearly seven years of student employment in the veterinary diagnostic laboratories. While working with the veterinary diagnosticians and researchers, he gained experience with PRRS virus, Porcine Circovirus, Swine Influenza virus, and many other diseases of swine.
Oedekoven completed an equine internship in Sheridan, Wyo., before returning to S.D. to work as a staff veterinarian for the South Dakota Animal Industry Board in 2003. In 2009, he was appointed by the board as its executive secretary and state veterinarian. He became a diplomate of the American College of Preventive Veterinary Medicine in 2015. Twice, he has served in an interim capacity as South Dakota’s secretary of agriculture. He is fortunate to work with a dedicated staff of veterinarians and other animal health and food safety professionals, as well as an extensive network of animal health and livestock industry partners. He currently serves as president elect and chairman of the board of directors of the United States Animal Health Association.
Among the many notable challenges of his tenure with the AIB have been the response to Winter Storm Atlas, the emergence of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus, an outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, the reemergence of Bovine tuberculosis and continual planning for foreign animal disease preparedness and response. Among his greatest accomplishments has been guiding and participating in the cooperative effort of government, industry and academia to build the expansion of the SDSU Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory.
Dusty and his wife Jenn live in Pierre with their five children, ages 7-18. They enjoy ministry with Community Bible Church, boating on the Missouri River and visiting family in the Black Hills.