Jeremy Pittman, veterinarian with Smithfield, is humbled at being named the 2015 recipient of the Science in Practice award presented during the Monday morning general session of the Allen D. Leman Swine Conference held in St. Paul, Minn. This award is sponsored by Zoetis.
"Looking at the names on this list (of previous winners), it is humbling to now be with them," Pittman says. "There are a lot of people behind this award, it's not just me. A lot of people have helped me along th way."
Pittman has been practicing veterinary medicine for 12 years, receiving his doctor of veterinary medicine degree from North Carolina State University in 2004.
Pittman is adamant about defending the producer’s and veterinarian’s ability to use antibiotics. “Too many people who don’t know what is needed are trying to take away this necessary tool,” Pittman says shortly after receiving his honor. “We must protect this valuable resource. We need to have all the tools in our tool box.”
He feels the industry needs to speak out, continuing to tell the story behind why antibiotics are necessary in the production of livestock, though he agrees they do need to be used efficiently and responsibly.
As a staff veterinarian for Smithfield, Pittman helps manage 103,000 sows farrow-to-finish in North Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania. He also is involved in research and development efforts using a science-based approach to improve production, health and business performance throughout Smithfield’s operations worldwide.
Additionally, he is involved in several task forces at Smithfield, which work diligently to address the health challenges pigs face during disease outbreaks.
Pittman is a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (Swine Health Management) and serves as adjunct faculty at the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine.
In 2011, Pittman was named one of Pfizer’s Top 10 Under 40 swine veterinarians. He was awarded a co-recipient of the 2011 AASV Alex Hogg Scholarship, which he used to complete a master’s degree in Veterinary Preventative Medicine at Iowa State University in 2014.
The Science in Practice award is made to an individual who has demonstrated or shows promising research productivity in production and disease and who has made contributions to in the creation and dissemination of new knowledge for the betterment of the swine industry. The recipient of the award will be a veterinarian whose major responsibility is moving research into the field, and not the creation of the research.