In March the American Association of Bovine Practitioners received word that the Internal Revenue Service approved the AABP Foundation, established by the AABP board of directors in September 2006, as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. According to Dr. Gatz Riddell, AABP executive vice president, "The application process was pretty arduous, but the IRS had no real concerns."
The AABP had approved $200,000 in funds as seed money, and $15,000 in private pledges can now be accepted. A Web site will be created; meanwhile, AABP members can designate donations on their dues notice or annual conference registration form.
Dr. Walt Guterbock of Hermiston, Ore., chairs the foundation board of directors. "We decided our two main focuses will be to aid in recruiting veterinarians for rural food animal practice and to create distance learning opportunities for our members, particularly to allow them to complete some CE," he said.
The first step of the recruitment focus will be inviting requests from veterinary students who want to start VSMART chapters at their schools. The Veterinary Student Mixed Animal Recruitment Team was created by Iowa State students to recruit and mentor primarily high school students for food animal medicine careers. For the CE focus, the foundation is partnering with veterinary student Kristen Twedt (MSU '11) through the Summer Food Systems Fellowship Program at Michigan State to determine requirements for accrediting distance learning and identify existing programs. The AABP is also partnering on this with the ad hoc Distance CE Committee chaired by Dr. Dan U. Thomson, Riley, Kan., and the Strategic Long-Range Planning Committee chaired by Dr. John W. Ferry, Adams, N.Y.
Additional goals are to fund clinical research on topics of interest to practitioners and support food animal externships and other learning opportunities for veterinary students.
Dr. Guterbock is joined on the foundation board by Drs. Dale M. Grotelueschen, Gering, Neb., and Arun P. Phatak, Waterford, Calif., and representing the AABP board of directors—Drs. John A. Schnackel, Fort Collins, Colo., foundation secretary, and Scott S. Waltner, Mount Vernon, Wash. As AABP treasurer, Dr. Brian Reed, Manheim, Pa., will assist in providing financial oversight and advice for the foundation.