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Honors awarded to top swine veterinarians

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Apr 05, 2009
By dvm360.com staff
Perry, Iowa -- Numerous honors and scholarships were spread around at the annual meeting of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) in March.

John T. Waddell, DVM, MBA, was named the Swine Practitioner of the Year. He is the alternate delegate representing the association on the American Veterinary Medical Association Legislative Action Committee, the 2004 president of the AASV, and has held numerous other leadership positions in the profession such as past chair of the Food and Drug Administration's Veterinary Medical Advisory Committee. Waddell is a 1981 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and has been a practicing food-animal veterinarian in Sutton, Neb., sine 1981.

Dr. Al Scheidt also was honored, as the association's Technical Services/Allied Industry Veterinarian of the Year for his work as manager of swine technical services for Pfizer Animal Health. He previously worked for AmithKline Beecham Animal Health, Wayne Feeds and as a professor of swine production medicine at Purdue University. Scheidt also has been active in professional associations, having served as AASV president in 1999.

Perhaps following in their footsteps is Dr. Michael Pierdon, who was honored as the 2009 Young Swine Veterinarian of the Year. The designation is awarded to an association member of five years or less who has "demonstrated the ideals of exemplary service and proficiency." Pierdon graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 2005, and a year after gradution conducted research with Dr. Gary Althouse on bacterial growth curves and semen extenders. He worked for a year at the Swine Vet Center in Minnesota before returning to his home state of Pennsylvania, where he purchased a swine-exclusive veterinary practice, now called Pierdon Swine Veterinary Services.

Turning to education, the association also at its convention awarded Dr. Phil Gauger the 2009 American Association of Swine Veterinarians Foundation Hogg Scholarship. Established in 2008, the $10,000 scholarship is awarded annually to an AASV member who has been accepted into a qualified graduate program to further their education as a swine practitioner. Gauger is a clinician in the Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine at Iowa State University and is pursuing a PhD in veterinary microbiology at Iowa State.

Other scholarships at the AASV meeting were awarded. Second-year Iowa State veterinary student Brent Carmichael received a $5,000 scholarship for a top student presentation, and other student presenters each received $2,500 scholarships. They were Joe Bender of Iowa State, Erin Kane of Kansas State University, Peter Lasley of Iowa State and Aaron Nystrom of the University of Minnesota.

Five $1,500 scholarships were awarded to Meggan Bandrick of the University of Minnesota, Maria Clavijo of Universidad Central de Venezuela, Andrea Pitkin of the University of Minnesota and Jess Waddell (son of Dr. John T. Waddell) of Iowa State. Additional scholarships, in the amount of $500 each, were given to Rafael Carreon of Universedade Federal de Uberlandia, Sara Dillon of North Carolina State University, Emily McDowell of Iowa State, Jason Norris of the University of Prince Edward Island and Andrew Zwambag of the University of Guelph.

All of the scholarships, with the exception of Carmichael's $5,000 scholarship, were provided by Eli Lilly and Co. on behalf of Elanco Animal Health.

Another award was bestowed on Dr. Kent J. Schwartz, winner of the 2009 Howard Dunne Memorial Award, which recognizes an AASV member who has made important contributions to the swine industry. Schwartz has worked as a veterinary diagnostician since 1989 and interprets test results from more than 2,500 veterinarian submissions each year. He has published numerous pieces of literature on wince disease and is a frequent speaker on swine health topics.

The annual AASV meeting was wrapped up with the selection of Dr. Rodney "Butch" Baker of Ames, Iowa as the 40th president of AASV. He is a senior clinician in the Food Supply Veterinary Medicine Unit at Iowa State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. During his term, Baker says he will focus on the membership's political activism and publicity management. He has served on the National Pork Board, the National Pork Producers Council and on AVMA committees, as well as other professional organizations.