Awards included Young Swine Veterinarian of the Year, Howard Dunne Memorial Award and Outstanding Swine Academic of the Year.

March 1, 2024

9 Min Read
Photos courtesy of Sherrie Webb

The American Association of Swine Veterinarians honored six members this week for their contributions to the association and the swine industry. The awards were presented during the 55th AASV Annual Meeting, Feb. 24- 27, in Nashville, Tennessee.

2024 Meritorious Service Award Recipient

Nathan Winkelman was named the 2024 recipient of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians’ Meritorious Service award. The award recognizes individuals who have provided outstanding service to the AASV.

Winkelman earned his BS and DVM from the University of Minnesota. He is the co-owner of Swine Services Unlimited Inc., a swine research and consulting practice he started in 1998.

As expected of a Meritorious Service award recipient, Winkelman has worked tirelessly for the AASV. He led the association as president in 2019 and chaired the AASV’s 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting. He has served on the AASV executive committee, the AASV Board of Directors, and many other AASV committees, including annual meeting program planning committees. He has moderated many seminars at AASV annual meetings. Winkelman was an active participant in the AASV/National Pork Board Operation Main Street program giving presentations to raise awareness about modern pork production.

Winkelman has also been a member of the AASV Foundation Board and chaired the AASV Foundation research grant committee. In 2016, he created the first AASV Foundation Legacy fund. The Legacy Fund represents the highest level of the foundation’s endowed giving programs, with a minimum $50,000 contribution required to establish a named endowment.

Winkelman strongly believes the AASV has been integral in a long and successful career as a swine veterinarian and researcher. “My dedication to the AASV is exemplified in not missing an annual meeting since I was a vet student in 1982.”

He is the lead author of more than 40 scientific articles and has been invited to speak at many local, national, and international meetings. He was the 2019 recipient of the Allen D. Leman Science in Practice Award.

Thankful for the association, Winkelman stated, “I am grateful and humbled to receive the Meritorious Service Award. It’s easy to give back time and effort to an organization I love. The AASV has given me 100 times what I try to give in return.”

2024 Young Swine Veterinarian of the Year

The American Association of Swine Veterinarians’ Young Swine Veterinarian of the Year award was presented to Dr. Dylan Lape. The award is given annually to an AASV member five or less years post veterinary graduation who has demonstrated the ideals of exemplary service and proficiency early in their career.

Lape, son of Dana Lape and Rose Young, grew up in the small town of Lebanon, Pennsylvania raising exhibition poultry along with his brother and father. He received a Bachelor of Science from Pennsylvania State University in 2014. He received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2018 from Purdue University.

After developing an interest in swine at the Penn State swine farm and pursuing those interests through veterinary school, Lape joined Pork Veterinary Solutions in July of 2018. He works with independent swine producers, contract growers, and large integrators and oversees the production of approximately 1 million pigs a year.

Lape has participated in multiple foreign animal disease planning and preparedness exercises and has completed the Swine Veterinarians Public Policy Advocacy Program through the National Pork Producers Council and AASV.

All of Lape’s many nominations for this award describe his infectiously positive personality as an ideal of exemplary service. Even in challenging, difficult, or stressful situations, Lape continuously chooses to be happy, making him a valuable team member and a joy for colleagues and clients.

Upon acceptance of the award, Lape commented, “I am shocked and honored to be selected for this award! I 100% wouldn’t be the veterinarian I am today without the mentorship I’ve received from many members of AASV, but especially my boss Dr. Matt Ackerman!”

2024 Swine Practitioner of the Year

Matt Allerson was named the 2024 Swine Practitioner of the Year by the American Association of Swine Veterinarians. The award is given to the swine practitioner who has demonstrated an unusual degree of proficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of veterinary service to clients.

Allerson earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He received a Master of Public Health, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, and PhD from the University of Minnesota.

Allerson is a veterinarian at Holden Farms, based out of Northfield, Minnesota, where he leads a team of veterinarians for one of the largest family-owned production systems in the country. He has presented many scientific abstracts at AASV annual meetings and other swine health meetings. Not only is Allerson known nationally and internationally for his work in disease control, health and production, he also stands out for his outstanding teaching, mentorship, natural team leadership and approachability. “His ability to navigate and lead through challenging situations with a calm and positive outlook reflects his resilience and unwavering commitment to the well-being of the swine industry,” said one of his nominators. 

Asked to share his thoughts about receiving this award, Allerson replied, “I am honored to receive this award from the AASV. I am very grateful for the team at Holden Farms that I have had the pleasure to work with in the past 13 years. Additionally, I appreciate all of the mentorship I have received from members of the AASV and the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. I am also thankful for my wonderful wife and family and all the support they have provided for me during my career.”

2024 Howard Dunne Memorial Award Recipient

Paul Yeske received the American Association of Swine Veterinarians’ 2024 Howard Dunne Memorial Award. The award recognizes an AASV member who has made important contributions and provided outstanding service to the association and the swine industry.

Yeske is a 1985 graduate of Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. He went on to earn an MS at the University of Minnesota (1998) and completed the Executive Veterinary Program in Swine Health Management at the University of Illinois (2009). He is a senior member of the veterinary team at the Swine Vet Center in St. Peter, Minnesota.

With more than 30 years of swine veterinary experience, Yeske has been recognized by his peers for his important contributions to swine medicine in disease management and elimination as the AASV Swine Practitioner of the Year (1998), the recipient of the Allen D. Leman Science in Practice Award (2010), and the Iowa State University Swine Disease Conference Science in Practice Award (2013).

He has contributed to the greater knowledge of swine medicine for veterinarians as a speaker at multiple annual meetings of the AASV. In 1996, he delivered the Howard Dunne Memorial Lecture. He served on the AASV swine health committee, the porcine circovirus type 2 task force, and the annual meeting program planning committee. He continues to serve the association as a member of the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome committee and porcine epidemic diarrhea elimination task force.

Upon acceptance of the award, Yeske said, “I am humbled to be considered with the previous recipients.”

2024 Technical Services/Allied Industry Veterinarian of the Year

Melissa Farber Billing received the American Association of Swine Veterinarians’ Technical Services/Allied Industry Veterinarian of the Year award. This award recognizes swine industry veterinarians who have demonstrated an unusual degree of proficiency and effectiveness in delivery of veterinary service to their companies and their clients, as well as given tirelessly in service to the AASV and the swine industry.

Billing graduated from Tinora High School and Wilmington College of Ohio and received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed the Executive Veterinary Program in Swine Health Management and received a Master of Veterinary Science from the University of Illinois.

As a senior key account veterinarian in the swine division at Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc., Billing assists veterinarians and swine producers throughout the eastern United States on topics including BIAH swine vaccines, custom made vaccines, disease challenges, disease prevention, biosecurity, food safety and swine production.

Billing has been an AASV member since joining as a student in 2002. She has served on the AASV Board of Directors as the District 1 Director for the past six years. She has also assisted the organization as the chair of the Operation Mainstreet Committee and as a member of the annual meeting program planning committee.

Upon acceptance of the award, Billing commented, “I am extremely honored to have been selected as the recipient of the 2024 AASV Technical Service Veterinarian Award. I am grateful to my peers and mentors within the AASV for recognizing me. I really appreciate that my company has given me the opportunity to work in such a great industry. Last but not the least, I am thankful to have such a loving family that has always supported me as I strive to reach my goals.”

2024 Outstanding Swine Academic of the Year Award Recipient

Rodger Main was named the 2024 recipient of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians’ Outstanding Swine Academic of the Year award. The award is given annually to an AASV member employed in academia who has demonstrated excellence in teaching, research and service to the swine veterinary profession. Faculty members, graduate students and researchers are eligible to receive this award.

Main received his BS and DVM from Iowa State University and PhD from Kansas State University. He is a professor and director of the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. ISU VDL’s team of 180 faculty and staff play an active role on the frontlines of U.S. animal agriculture, processing approximately 120,000 diagnostic case submissions and conducting more than 1.5 million diagnostic assays each year. Peers credit Main’s commitment and innovation as key to transforming the ISU VDL into a global leader in food animal diagnostic medicine.

More recently, Main has also been serving as the principal investigator of the U.S. Swine Health Improvement Plan endeavor that centers on bringing industry, state and federal partners together to establish an officially recognized platform for safeguarding, certifying and bettering the health of U.S. swine and the longer-term competitiveness of the U.S. pork industry. 

Main is a member of the AASV committee on transboundary and emerging diseases and has served on many others. He delivered the Alex Hogg Memorial Lecture at the 2019 AASV Annual Meeting. He has been recognized for his outstanding service to the swine industry with the Allen D. Leman Science in Practice Award (2008), the AASV Howard Dunne Memorial Award (2017), the Iowa State University Award for Outstanding Achievement in Extension or Professional Practice (2020), and the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians Distinguished Service Award (2022).

Appreciative of his career and colleagues, Main stated, “I am most certainly humbled and honored to be recognized by my peers in this way. I feel extremely fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work with and for so many great people over the course of my career. I fully realize that any such recognition that comes my way is simply an acknowledgment and appreciation for the contributions being made by those of which I have the good fortune to work with and be supported by both in the workplace and at home, and for that, I am indeed most certainly grateful.”

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

You May Also Like