AVMA grants $100,000 to food animal taskforce

AVMA grants $100,000 to food animal taskforce

May 01, 2004

Schaumburg, Ill.-The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Executive Board approved, at presstime, granting funds for a Food Animal Summit Taskforce research project designed to maintain the availability of veterinarians for careers in agriculture-related fields.

While AVMA pledges partial support of $100,000, the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, American Association of Swine Practitioners, American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners, Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges and members of industry also promise to kick in funds for the project, expected to total $300,000. The research is anticipated to conclude one year from its start date, AVMA spokeswoman Sharon Curtis-Granskog says.

NCVEI receives benchmarking grant AVMA also approved $150,000 for a National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues (NCVEI) project to design benchmarking tools for production animal practitioners.

The tools, modeled after those developed for companion animal and equine practitioners, will focus on bovine dairy, beef, swine and small ruminant species, NCVEI Executive Director Howard Rubin says.

The tools are designed to allow users to complete self-assessments of their practices using manageable data segments including a comparison with similar practices based on size, type, geography and demographic profile, Rubin says.

Users also will be able to view behavior illustrations of top-performers in each benchmarking category, identifications as to what makes those practices successful along with specific recommendations as to how their results are attained, he adds.

The benchmarking tools are expected to be released next year.

Implementing the toolsAVMA also will provide $6,000 in seed money to NCVEI for the management of student-based initiatives designed to facilitate benchmarking and messages of economic improvement in Michigan.

The program, modeled after last year's success with Iowa State University (ISU) veterinary students, charges Michigan State University scholars with visiting practices to implement and introduce owners to NCVEI benchmarking tools.

ISU students called on more than 125 veterinary hospitals and clinics in Iowa last summer, garnering NCVEI economic information on 90 percent of companion animal practices in the state.

The Michigan Veterinary Medical Association will also be funding the project.

Public policy approached Executive board members approved $51,200 for a public policy symposium this year, designed to provide a forum for constituent organization representatives to gain insight and knowledge on managing public policy issues, Granskog says.

The Symposium on Public Policy is slated for August at a Chicago-area location. State veterinary medical associations and allied organizations will be encouraged to send representatives involved in legislative issues.

The AVMA State Legislative and Regulatory Initiatives Taskforce proposed the event.

Rendering issue postponed Executive board members postponed the AVMA Animal Agriculture Liaison Committee's recommendation to appoint a taskforce to study the problem of animal carcass and tissue disposal and formulate action steps for rendering diseased carcasses in emergency situations.

The action will be reconsidered at the board's upcoming meeting, June 10 through June 12. In the meantime, board members are working to gather information from the United States Department of Agriculture and other state and federal agencies on ways to deal with disposal, Granskog says.

Animal status taskforceA proposal to create a taskforce to study the legal status of animals also was postponed until next month's meeting. Executive board members voted to gather information from legislative hotbeds such as California and its state veterinary medical association's taskforce, which already addresses such issues.

The goal is to create AVMA position statements on owner/guardianship language and noneconomic pet status.