Jeffrey Harker was installed as president of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians on March 10 during the association's 51st Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Ga. He succeeds Nathan Winkelman, who is now immediate past president. Mary Battrell has ascended to president-elect. The newly elected vice president is Michael Senn.
Harker (Purdue '94) grew up on a diversified livestock and grain farm near Waldron, Ind. Active in 4-H and FFA as a youth, he received his American Farmer degree from FFA in 1989. Since graduation from veterinary school, Harker has worked exclusively in swine practice. He first joined Max Rodibaugh at Swine Health Services as an associate veterinarian and then became a partner in 2001. Their practice (now AMVC Swine Health Services) is dedicated to swine and serves a very diverse swine clientele ranging from small show pig herds to contract growers in integrated production.
Harker has served on the AASV board of directors, has represented AASV in the American Veterinary Medical Association's House of Delegates, has served on the AASV Annual Meeting Planning Committee, and was the Indiana Pork Producers Association president. Harker has also been involved with the National Pork Board's Operation Main Street program since it began several years ago and was the 2017 recipient of the AASV Meritorious Service Award. He lives in rural Clinton County, Ind., with his wife Traci and the younger two of their four children; their older two daughters live nearby each with daughters of their own.
When asked to comment on his thoughts about the future of AASV and his tenure as president, Harker said, "I am looking forward to working with the AASV board, members and staff on solving the challenges as they arise over the next year. Considering the current poor market situation along with the increased threat of foreign animal disease, the AASV will need to continue to provide the best scientific information to the swine industry. I hope that I can help maintain AASV's past success in navigating through these challenges."
Battrell (ISU '95) was born and raised on a diversified crop and livestock family farm in Albany, Ohio. She earned a bachelor's of science from The Ohio State University, a master's of science from the University of Tennessee, and her doctorate in veterinary medicine and an additional master's degree from Iowa State University in 1995. She began her veterinary career in North Carolina working for Fred Cunningham, Brown's of Carolina, and Pharmacia as a technical services veterinarian. Since 2000, Battrell has worked for Smithfield Hog Production, where she is currently the staff veterinarian for Smithfield Hog Production's Central Region and is responsible for the health and well-being of 92,000 sows farrow-to-finish. She has been actively involved in the development of the Smithfield Animal Care Program and their Contingency Plan for a Foreign Animal Disease. Battrell has served on the AASV Pig Welfare and Pharmaceutical Issues Committees and was the 2018 recipient of the AASV Swine Practitioner of the Year Award.
Senn (KSU '91) was involved in agriculture as a youth and raised on a diversified livestock and crop farm in Kanas, where he continues as the 4th generation to operate the farm. Senn credits his participation in 4-H and FFA as a youth with his passion for volunteerism and leadership. He has served AASV with two terms on the board of directors, as a committee member, as chair of the Foreign Animal Disease Committee (now Committee on Transboundary and Emerging Diseases) and as a student presentation judge. During his nearly 20-year career as a technical services veterinarian, he provided technical support for products and focused on clinical research, antimicrobial resistance monitoring, antibiotic regulatory issues and emerging infectious disease surveillance. He continues to work as an independent consultant.
Commenting on his upcoming vice-presidency, Senn said, "I look forward to the opportunity to serve the passionate members of AASV, and working closely with the board of directors and staff to continue to provide science-based information to address the health and well-being of the animals that we work with, as well as public health. With the ever-changing challenges and opportunities we face, I'm optimistic about developing and enhancing relationships between AASV, allied industry groups and regulatory agencies to proactively address each one."
Senn lives in Newton, Kan. with his wife, Stephanie, and children Annika and Jakob.
Winkelman (UMN '84) was raised on a diversified crop and livestock farm near St James, Minn. He received a bachelor of science degree in animal science and a doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Minnesota. Upon graduation, he joined a swine-exclusive veterinary practice in Morris, Minn., with Rod Johnson and Tony Scheiber. Currently, Winkelman is a partner with Adam Mueller in Swine Services Unlimited, Inc., a swine research and consulting practice in Rice, Minn. He has served on the AASV board of directors and currently sits on the AASV Foundation Board. In addition, Winkelman is an active participant in the National Pork Board's Operation Main Street project giving presentations to various groups to raise awareness about modern pork production.