For Robbins, award is an industry, team effort

Science in Practice award is given each year to a swine practitioner who has shown an exceptional ability to use science in day-to-day practice.

September 17, 2018

3 Min Read
For Robbins, award is an industry, team effort
Rebecca Robbins, upfront and center, says she couldn’t do what she does without the cooperation and collaboration of the entire swine industry, and that includes the team that she works with at Seaboard Foods.National Hog Farmer/Kevin Schulz

Rebecca Robbins is quick to deflect attention from herself, instead saying her work on Seaboard Foods’ research and development team is truly that, the work of an entire team. She even goes beyond the work that her Seaboard team does, saying the work of the entire swine industry and its veterinarians makes for the strength of the industry as a whole, and her individually.

“I don’t do what I do to win awards,” Robbins says after receiving the Science in Practice during the 2018 Allen D. Leman Swine Conference. Robbins is the senior production veterinarian for Seaboard Foods. She sees the ultimate goal of what she does for the betterment of a healthy swine industry. “It is a culmination, maybe a milestone of lot of years of a lot of work. I love this industry, and it is a great honor to share with the people on that list, people who I respect.”

She started with Smithfield in 2010, and transitioned to Seaboard in 2013 “at the height of PED. I showed up a month after we broke with PED.” She credits a lot of people who enabled her to complete her PhD in 2016 while working at Seaboard. “It really shows how much the swine industry, Seaboard Foods and all swine practitioners are invested in science-based, evidence-based solutions to better the industry.”


Rebecca Robbins, senior production veterinarian for Seaboard Foods in Guymon, Okla., is the recipient of the 2018 Science in Practice Award presented at the Allen D. Leman Swine Conference.

“I tell students you have got to love the problem-solving part of the industry,” she says, and she sees that focus of the swine practitioners sets the swine industry apart from the other livestock industries. “You cannot do this by yourself,” she says. “It seems silly for me to receive this award when it really takes a lot of people with the ultimate goal of having the healthiest industry in the world.”

The University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine has named Rebecca Robbins, DVM, PhD, as the 2018 recipient of the Allen D. Leman Science in Practice award. Robbins is the, one of the nation’s leading pork producers and processors.

The Science in Practice award is given each year at the Allen D. Leman Swine Conference in St. Paul, Minn. It is the industry’s premier award for swine practitioners who have shown an exceptional ability to use science in day-to-day practice. Nominations and selection of the winner are determined by a swine faculty planning committee at the university.

Seaboard Foods’ research and development team coordinates an average of 45 studies annually. She also participates in university research projects and has served on numerous industry advisory boards. Robbins’ research interests are in the use of antibiotics in pork production, epidemiology, and management of mycoplasmas, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus and porcine epidemic diarrhea virus in integrated systems.

“For more than 20 years this award has honored some of the most accomplished veterinary leaders in the swine industry,” says Montse Torremorell, DVM, PhD, and professor in the Department of Veterinary Population Medicine at the University. “We are excited to honor Dr. Robbins and to have the support of Boehringer Ingelheim for this award.”

Boehringer Ingelheim sponsors the reception for the Science in Practice award. “Boehringer Ingelheim is pleased to join the University of Minnesota in congratulating Dr. Robbins, an outstanding swine practitioner whose work ensures pig health is a priority from start to finish,” says Jens Kjaer, DVM, MBA, senior associate director for swine technical marketing for Boehringer Ingelheim. “BI is committed to supporting swine industry leaders in their pursuit of knowledge and science to drive innovative solutions.”

The Allen D. Leman Swine Conference is being held at the St. Paul RiverCentre through Sept. 18. From its beginning in 1974, the conference has presented information and issues pertinent to the swine industry. The conference has transformed from a meeting in a small lecture hall to the annual, international conference with more than 800 participants that we know it as today. Visit for more information.

Source: University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine

Subscribe to Our Newsletters
National Hog Farmer is the source for hog production, management and market news

You May Also Like