Six bovine practitioners learned they had won the American Association of Bovine Practitioners' top honors, Sept. 23 at the AABP conference in Saint Paul, Minn.
The Fort Dodge/AABP Bovine Practitioner of the Year Award was presented to Dr. Randall Hinshaw (GA '82). Dr. Hinshaw is in bovine-exclusive practice in Harrisonburg, Va. A practice owner and manager, he has devoted the past 13 years to bovine embryo transfer, serving clients in 10 states. As adjunct professors for the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, he and his practice colleagues host externs from several colleges each year. Dr. Hinshaw was president of the Virginia Academy of Food Animal Practice and chaired the Virginia VMA Committee for Food Animal Practice. As president of the American Embryo Transfer Association from 2002-2003, he led the AETA back to financial viability after a management company embezzled all its funds. His research projects and presentations provide valuable information for bovine practitioners and the embryo transfer industry.
Dr. Jan Shearer (OSU '75) received the Alpharma/AABP Award of Excellence. Dr. Shearer is professor and dairy extension veterinarian at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, and owns a cattle operation. His diverse expertise includes lameness and foot health in dairy and beef cattle, heat stress in dairy animals, and mastitis and milk quality. Dr. Shearer chairs the AABP Animal Welfare Committee, which addresses complex issues as they apply to cattle and the role of bovine practitioners. He also coordinates the AABP lameness seminar, serves on the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization's board of directors, and is food animal program coordinator for the North American Veterinary Conference. The National Mastitis Council has also benefited from Dr. Shearer's involvement.
The MerialAgVet/AABP Award for Excellence in Veterinary Preventive Medicine goes to a beef practitioner and a dairy practitioner (or practices) who have developed outstanding programs.
The beef award went to Dr. Calvin W. Booker (SKW '89). He is a partner with Feedlot Health Management Services in Okotoks, Alberta. Since entering private practice in 1992, he has made an impact on feedlot veterinary medicine. His skills as an epidemiologist have resulted in research projects involved in identifying and documenting infection with Histophilus somni (formerly Haemophilus somnus) as a major disease, establishing the case definition for undifferentiated fever/bovine respiratory disease, and defining the role of bovine viral diarrhea virus in feedlot cattle. Dr. Booker has helped develop innovative concepts for delivery of feedlot veterinary services and is an articulate spokesman for the beef industry.
Dr. Al Harper (CAL '81) received the dairy award. Owner of a dairy practice in Dublin, Texas, he serves clients throughout Texas and in several other states. His emphasis is on providing the best services to his clients. He has raised his professional skills by obtaining a master's in veterinary preventive medicine, and he holds regular client education meetings. Dr. Harper also developed a milkers school and oversees one of the best milk quality services in the nation. An outstanding role model for mentoring, Dr. Harper also nurtures recent graduates by sharing his approaches to dairy health and reproduction and collaborating with them to implement those management practices.
The Pfizer Animal Health/AABP Distinguished Service Award was presented to Dr. Rich Meiring (OSU '72), who has been a progressive private practitioner, dairy consultant, academician, and spokesman for food supply veterinary medicine. Dr. Meiring is clinical assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine at The Ohio State University. He serves on the department's Food Animal Admissions Task Force and is an expert on milk quality. This year, Dr. Meiring earned board certification in the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine. AABP president in 2004-2005, he is currently the association's Constitution and Bylaws Committee chair, parliamentarian, and a representative to the Food Supply Veterinary Medicine Coalition. Dr. Meiring also chairs the Ohio VMA Agricultural Issues Committee and has served in leadership roles on AVMA entities.
The inaugural James A. Jarrett Award for Young Leaders was presented to Dr. Reneé Dewell (COL '93), Windsor, Colo. As a member of the AABP Animal Welfare Committee, she organized and moderated a general session on pain management. Her work as AABP liaison to the National Institute of Animal Agriculture increased awareness of the risk of biological pathogens to bovine populations. Dr. Dewell served on a Department of Homeland Security task force on foreign animal diseases. Convinced that biological risk management and preparedness are critical to the cattle industry, she proposed a new AABP committee, which the board formed in spring 2006, and now chairs it. A member of AVMA Veterinary Medical Assistance Team 3, Dr. Dewell was deployed to Mississippi to provide disaster relief to Hurricane Katrina victims. (See also article.)
The AABP board voted to confer honorary AABP membership on Gary Cowman, PhD, a longtime supporter of the profession. Dr. Cowman worked for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association from 1989-2005 and retired as director of quality assurance. He will be the third nonveterinarian ever to receive this distinction when it is presented.