Five swine veterinarians honored for service, proficiency

Published on
information-circle This article is more than 3 years old
Dr. Battrell
Dr. Mary Battrell
Dr. Hesse
Dr. Dick Hesse
Dr. Wagstrom
Dr. Elizabeth Wagstrom
Dr. Schelkopf
Dr. Adam Schelkopf


Dr. Nemechek
Dr. Eugene Nemechek

The American Association of Swine Veterinarians gave awards to five veterinarians during the organization's annual meeting.

This year's meeting occurred March 3-6 in San Diego.

Dr. Mary Battrell (Iowa State '95) of Garland, North Carolina, is the 2018 Swine Practitioner of the Year, an award given to honor veterinarians for proficient and effective service to clients.

Dr. Battrell also earned her master's degree in swine production medicine at Iowa State University. She since has had several jobs as a practitioner and technical services veterinarian.

She now is a staff veterinarian for Smithfield Hog Production, through which she is responsible for the health and well-being of 140,000 sows and has been helping develop a company animal care program, AASV information states.

Dick Hesse, PhD, received the 2018 Howard Dunne Memorial Award, which is given to honor AASV members for contributions and service to the association and swine industry. He is a professor in the Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Earlier in his career, he was a group leader in the virology section at Schering-Plough Animal Health and manager of veterinary biologics research and development at Intervet. He has authored or co-authored more than 50 publications, presentations, and patent applications, and he has led development of at least 12 Department of Agriculture–licensed vaccines.

Dr. Elizabeth Wagstrom (Iowa State '99) of Faribault, Minnesota, received the 2018 AASV Meritorious Service Award, which is given to honor service to the AASV.

Dr. Wagstrom is chief veterinarian for the National Pork Producers Council. She previously worked as a public health veterinarian and senior epidemiologist for the Minnesota Department of Health, director of veterinary science and assistant vice president of science and technology for the National Pork Board, and an associate professor and residency director at the University of Minnesota Center for Animal Health and Food Safety.

Dr. Adam Schelkopf (Illinois '12) of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, received this year's AASV Young Swine Veterinarian of the Year Award, which honors service and proficiency within five years of graduation.

Dr. Schelkopf became an associate veterinarian for Pipestone Veterinary Services and has also become a partner in Pipestone Holdings. He is a health director and regional director for Pipestone.

He has been earning a master's degree at Iowa State University and has contributed to research on porcine epidemic diarrhea virus immunity in sows and piglets.

Dr. Eugene Nemechek (Kansas State '76) of Wilson, North Carolina, received the AASV Technical Services/Allied Industry Veterinarian of the Year Award, which honors swine industry veterinarians for proficiency and effectiveness in delivering veterinary services as well as service to the AASV and swine industry.

Dr. Nemechek is a pork technical services veterinarian for Zoetis and a frequent presenter for Operation Main Street, a public relations campaign run by the Pork Checkoff program.

He worked in rural mixed animal practice after graduation and since has worked as a staff veterinarian for Cargill Pork, director of health and production for Genetic Improvement Services, and quality assurance veterinarian for Tyson Fresh Meats.

Dr. Nemechek also was the 2010-11 president of the National Pork Board.