Source: University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine
Throughout his 30 years as a professor at the University of Minnesota, the late Bob Morrison demonstrated his passion for education, broke new ground in swine veterinary research and personified his mantra of “Learn. Teach. Have fun.” His dedication to bringing experienced and talented people together to share knowledge created excellent learning opportunities for students and swine industry members alike.
To carry on Morrison’s legacy, the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine announced the Morrison Swine Innovator Prize to honor Morrison’s legacy, by encouraging the pursuit of work that’s relevant to the swine industry, and inspiring and supporting the next generation of swine veterinary industry leaders. Perle Boyer, an assistant professor in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, officially announced the award program during the Leman Science in Practice Reception, sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim, on Sept. 18 at the Allen D. Leman Swine Conference. In future years, the reception will serve as the venue for the announcement of the recipient of the prize.
The program consists of two main components: a monetary prize funded by sponsoring producers and veterinary clinics, and networking opportunities for finalists and sponsor representatives. The Morrison Swine Innovator Prize is part of a suite of initiatives the college is launching to serve the needs of tomorrow’s swine industry and enhance Morrison’s legacy.
Following Morrison’s untimely death in a motor vehicle accident in May 2017, his colleagues at the University of Minnesota said they knew they had to continue the work that was so important to him throughout his career.
“Bob was such an overwhelming force for innovation and education in the swine community,” says Boyer. “This program honors both him as a person and the spirit behind the work he was so passionate about. He was passionate about doing relevant work to improve producers and the entire swine industry.”
The Morrison Swine Innovator Prize will be open to veterinary medicine students at accredited four-year universities in the United States and Canada. While the University of Minnesota is administering the program, students attending other qualified universities are eligible for the prize.
Applicants will need to show that they have worked to embody Morrison’s mantra of “Learn. Teach. Have fun.” in a project or activity undertaken to apply for the prize. A group of finalists will be chosen to present their projects in person to a judging panel at the 2018 Allen D. Leman Swine Conference in St. Paul, Minn., an annual conference that Morrison was instrumental in coordinating. After the presentations, the judging panel will choose a winner who will receive the monetary prize.
As part of their attendance at the Leman Conference, all finalists will also have the opportunity to participate in a networking session with sponsoring producers and veterinary clinics, which will allow them to lay the groundwork for future internship or job opportunities and gain a better understanding of the swine industry.
The University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine is currently seeking additional sponsors for the program and more information is available here. The student application period will open in early 2018.
National Hog Farmer Staff Writer Kevin Schulz contributed to this article.