52nd annual meeting, held virtually, Feb. 27-March 2
Swine veterinarians and veterinary students learned about leadership within the veterinary profession, personal development, the effects of COVID-19 and implications for other disease challenges, the threat of African swine fever, new tools to combat disease, and veterinarians’ roles in providing the best welfare for pigs. The theme was “Navigating the future ... together.” Dr. Jerome Geiger, health assurance veterinarian for PIC, delivered the Howard Dunne Memorial Lecture on the talent within the AASV, swine veterinarians’ accomplishments, and the need for collaboration. The meeting included 10 pre-conference seminars, two general sessions, three concurrent sessions, four sessions from industry partners, the organization’s annual business meeting, a student trivia event, and an awards presentation.
Swine Practitioner of the Year
Dr. Jeremy Pittman (North Carolina State ’04), Wakefield, Virginia. The award honors swine practitioners for proficiency and effectiveness in delivering veterinary service. Dr. Pittman is a veterinarian for Smithfield Hog Production operations in North Carolina and Virginia and an adjunct faculty member at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He is a committed mentor for students and early-career veterinarians, an embodiment of the AASV values of science-based swine health and management, and a highly sought volunteer in swine industry and swine medicine organizations.
Young Swine Veterinarian of the Year
Dr. Chris Sievers (Iowa State ’16), Storm Lake, Iowa. The award honors an AASV member for exemplary service and proficiency within five years of graduation. Dr. Sievers is a veterinarian for the Swine Vet Center in St. Peter, Minnesota. His colleagues nominated him for his resourcefulness, ability to make science-based recommendations, and willingness to share knowledge.
Technical Services/Allied IndustryVeterinarian of the Year
Dr. James Lehman (Illinois ’89), Sullivan, Illinois. The award honors veterinarians for proficiency and effectiveness in delivering veterinary service to companies and clients and for tireless service to the AASV and swine industry. Dr. Lehman is a technical service manager for the Swine Business Unit of Merck Animal Health. He is a trusted technical services veterinarian who is respected for his leadership and ability to bring together people with conflicting opinions, as well as known for his technical skills and ability to solve industry problems.
Howard Dunne Memorial Award
Dr. John Deen (Guelph ’84), St. Paul, Minnesota. The award honors veterinarians for contributions and service to the AASV and swine industry. Dr. Deen is a professor in the Department of Veterinary Population Medicine at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. He is a pioneer in animal welfare and promoter of good welfare for pigs, a dedicated mentor to graduate students, and a source of knowledge for veterinarians and producers.
Meritorious Service Award
Dr. Angela Baysinger (Missouri ’92), Bruning, Nebraska. The award honors veterinarians for service to the AASV. Dr. Baysinger is the North American animal welfare lead for Merck Animal Health. Her peers describe her as a driven person who cares deeply about the veterinary profession, veterinarians, producers, and pigs. She is a member of the AASV Pig Welfare Committee, a representative for the AASV on the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization board since 2003, and a representative for the AASV on the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee. She co-authored the AASV’s “On-Farm Euthanasia of Swine: Recommendations for the Producer,” and she formerly served as an AASV board member and a member of numerous other groups within the AASV, AVMA, and swine industry.
Drs. Mary Battrell, Garland, North Carolina, president; Michael Senn, Newton, Kansas, president-elect; William Hollis, Carthage, Illinois, vice president, and Jeffrey Harker, Frankfort, Indiana, immediate past president