Cattle veterinarians, students honored

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Dr. Ceelen
Dr. Henry Ceelen
Dr. Fajt
Dr. Virginia Fajt
Dr. Thomson
Dr. Dan Thomson
Dr. McGuirk
Dr. Sheila McGuirk


Dr. Shelton
Dr. Ben Shelton
Dr. Crews
Dr. John Crews
Dr. Miles
Dr. Delbert Miles
Dr. Allenstein​
Dr. Leland Allenstein​

The American Association of Bovine Practitioners honored 10 veterinarians and a student chapter for contributions to cattle, the association, cattle industries, and students.

Association leaders and sponsors gave the awards during the AABP annual conference this past September in Phoenix (see story).

Dr. Henry Ceelen (Guelph '81) of Kemptville, Ontario, is the AABP Bovine Practitioner of the Year. The award honors veterinarians who are active in organized veterinary medicine and have made substantial contributions to bovine medicine.

Dr. Virginia Fajt (Auburn '95) of College Station, Texas, received the AABP Award of Excellence. It is given to AABP members in teaching, research, industry, or government for consistent and direct influence on veterinarians' daily activities.

Dr. Dan Thomson (Iowa State '00) of Manhattan, Kansas, received the Zoetis Distinguished Service Award, which is given in honor of lengthy service to promote goals of the AABP and accomplishments that serve bovine agriculture through organized veterinary medicine.

Dr. Shelia McGuirk (Georgia '77) of Dodgeville, Wisconsin, received the Merck Animal Health Mentor-of-the-Year Award. It is given to honor AABP members who have worked in veterinary medicine at least 25 years and have been advisers and role models to preveterinary or veterinary students.

Dr. Ben Shelton (Tennessee '81) of Olin, North Carolina, and Dr. John Crews (Auburn '75) of Fort Meade, Florida, received the Boehringer Ingelheim Excellence in Preventive Medicine awards. Dr. Shelton received the award for contributions in dairy cattle medicine and Dr. Crews for contributions in beef cattle medicine. The award is given to honor veterinarians who have developed outstanding preventive medicine programs.

Dr. Eric Behlke (Iowa State '10) of Okotoks, Alberta, received the Dr. James A. Jarrett Award for Young Leaders, an award given to veterinarians who are within 10 years of graduation and whose service to the AABP has enhanced the organization's mission and will help the organization remain successful.

Two veterinarians also were inducted into the Cattle Production Veterinarian Hall of Fame.

Dr. Delbert Miles (Missouri '66) was the 2018 inductee for work in the beef industry. He had jobs in mixed animal practice, academia, the pharmaceutical industry, and feedlot management before joining Veterinary Research and Consulting Services, where he has worked since 1984. He also is a former president of the Academy of Veterinary Consultants and a former AABP director.

He was honored for his leadership and mentoring, including early leadership in the Beef Quality Assurance Program and design of low-cost treatment protocols that reduced stress on sick cattle.

Dr. Leland Allenstein (Iowa State '50) was posthumously inducted for his work in the dairy industry. He spent 40 years in dairy practice before working at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine from 1987-95. He died in 2011.

He was an AABP president, and he earned awards from state, university, and veterinary organizations for his service to the dairy industry. He was a columnist for Hoard's Dairyman and, for 30 years, the chief veterinarian of the World Dairy Expo.

He also was honored for bringing a stream of students into his practice and his love of dairy farmers, their families, and their cows.

The AABP also gave this year's Student Chapter Award to the chapter at Iowa State University and this year's Faculty Advisor Award to Dr. Derek Foster at North Carolina State University.