Missouri VMA – January 25-28, 2024


The Missouri VMA (MVMA) held its 132nd annual convention from January 25-28, 2024, in Columbia.


The convention drew more than 600 attendees, including veterinarians, veterinary technicians, practice staff members, and veterinary students. More than 60 continuing education lectures were offered to the participants.


Veterinarian of the Year

Dr. Kenton Morgan
Dr. Kenton Morgan

Dr. Kenton Morgan (Missouri ’83), Faucett. Dr. Morgan served as managing veterinarian of equine technical services at Zoetis prior to retirement in 2023. He previously served as an ambulatory veterinarian in Missouri and Kansas, was a resident veterinarian in Idaho, served as a senior technical services veterinarian with Bayer Animal Health, and managed the equine field professional services team at Fort Dodge Animal Health. Dr. Morgan is a member of the MVMA executive board and serves on the American Quarter Horse Foundation’s Equine Research Committee and the advisory committee for the Equine Disease Communication Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Active with the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), he has served on the AAEP board of directors and chaired the AAEP Professional Conduct & Ethics Committee. Dr. Morgan is a diplomate of the American College of Theriogenologists. 

Richard D. Antweiler Servant Leadership Award

Dr. Ronald Cott (Missouri ’73), Leawood, Kansas. Dr. Cott served as the associate dean for student and alumni affairs and executive director of advancement at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine prior to retirement. Earlier in his career, he practiced companion animal medicine in the Kansas City area.

President’s Award

Dr. James Sparks
Dr. James Sparks

Dr. James Sparks (Missouri ’90), Parkville. Dr. Sparks owns Eagle Animal Hospital in Riverside, with a special interest in companion animal internal medicine.

Ortu Stella Award

Dr. Lynn Martin (Missouri ’14), Columbia. Dr. Martin is an assistant teaching professor of equine internal medicine in the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. Vice president of the MVMA, she is also a member of the MVMA Equine, Legislative, and 2024 Convention Planning committees.

Legislative Leadership Award

Dr. Linda Hickam (Missouri ’90), Thompson. Dr. Hickam is a past Missouri state veterinarian. She has also served as deputy state veterinarian and state epidemiologist.

Missouri Veterinary Medical Foundation Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Philip Brown (Missouri ’72), Springfield. Dr. Brown owns Animal Care Center in Springfield. He co-chairs the Missouri Veterinary Medical Foundation’s board of directors.

Missouri VMA Academy Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Kenneth Vroman
Dr. Kenneth Vroman

Dr. Kenneth Vroman (Missouri ’69), Glascow. Dr. Vroman owned Howard County Veterinary Services in Fayette prior to retirement. A founding member of the MVMA Academy, he is also a member of the MVMA Legislative Committee and Missouri Volunteer Veterinary Corps.


Dr. Kacie Ulhorn
Dr. Kacie Ulhorn
Dr. David Wilson
Dr. David Wilson

MVMA—Dr. Kacie Ulhorn, Hermann, president; Dr. David Wilson, Columbia, president-elect; Dr. Lynn Martin, Columbia, vice president; Dr. Shelia Taylor, Springfield, secretary-treasurer; Dr. Matt Silvius, Riverside, board chair; and Julie Braun, Jefferson City, executive director. Missouri VMA Academy—Drs. Jessica Gardner, Kearney, president, and Laura Moon, Fayette, vice president. Missouri Veterinary Medical Foundation—Dr. Philip R. Brown, Springfield, board co-chair; Dr. Scott Fray, Boonville, board co-chair; Dr. Marcy Hammerle, St. Charles, board vice chair; and Bruce Addison, Fayette, secretary-treasurer

A version of this story appears in the May 2024 print issue of JAVMA