Source: University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine
The late Bob Morrison’s name is forever linked to improving swine health, production and economics. His passion for his work helped create one of the world’s leading swine research, outreach and teaching programs. Now, the college where Morrison chose to spend his career, the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, is extending his legacy by raising funds for five initiatives.
1. Creating new opportunities for outstanding veterinary students to study and work with the world’s leading swine-related practices and industry.
2. Funding to develop future industry leaders through graduate education in swine health, production and economics.
3. Creating opportunities to pair practicing swine veterinarians with the college’s faculty to collaboratively identify industry problems, create solutions and build practitioner capacity in swine production and economics.
4. Providing in-depth technical support to the swine industry in areas such as statistics, research trial design, data management and economic analysis.
5. Strengthening global connections to develop solutions to emerging needs of the swine industry is another initiative under consideration.
Contributions to the Morrison Legacy Fund will make these initiatives a reality. Food animal medicine programs are enjoying a renaissance at the University of Minnesota as a result of $51 million in new investments over the past five years. The new funds from the Minnesota Legislature and the university have created new and expanded facilities, as well as nine new faculty positions, benefitting all of food animal medicine, including swine.
“This is an exciting time to be involved in food animal medicine in Minnesota,” says Trevor Ames, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “The swine team that Bob Morrison helped us assemble is well-prepared to take advantage of the new funds. The best way to honor Bob’s memory is to ensure the program that was so important to him, rises to the next level at the university he loved.”
Several of North America’s leading swine companies have donated to the Morrison Legacy Fund. “We are grateful for the donors who have stepped forward to help strengthen what Dr. Morrison started at the University of Minnesota,” says Mindy Means, the development officer coordinating the fundraising campaign. “Their leadership is helping to extend the Bob Morrison legacy.”
Morrison died in a car accident in eastern Europe in May 2017. He spent his entire academic career at the University of Minnesota, earning both a PhD and MBA. Early in his career Morrison helped eradicate pseudorabies in swine, and in 2011 he launched the Swine Health Monitoring Project, which today reports the health status of over 50% of the U.S. sow herd. He also advised and mentored numerous graduate students, practicing veterinarians and swine industry leaders.
“Bob’s philosophy of ‘teach, learn and have fun’ is firmly embedded in today’s swine industry because of his extensive network,” Ames says. “We are fortunate that through Bob, such a large part of the industry has ties to our college.”