The American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) is on the move in 2017 with a host of new activities, resources and information. Check out the hot topics for 2017. 

Veterinary Feed Directive

With the advent of the FDA Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) Jan. 1, 2017, food animal veterinarians are facing an often confusing set of regulations for the use of medically important antibiotics in feed or water.

“From my interactions with veterinarians, it is very apparent that one major intent of the VFD is happening; veterinarians are having some tough conversations with their clients on what in-feed drug uses are and aren’t merited,” says AABP President-Elect Dr. Mike Apley, Kansas State University. “The major questions on VFD implementation are pretty well answered; now we are working through the truly practical questions that are arising as VFD implementation continues. As usual, food animal veterinarians are living at the juncture of regulatory, client and consumer expectations.”

AABP members can access a variety of VFD information and resources by logging onto the AABP website at Anyone can access the AABP Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship guidelines at

AABP Ethics Guidelines

The AABP Board of Directors has assigned a Veterinary Ethics Task Force to examine and give guidance on veterinary ethics topics such as handling rebates, charging for certain services and prescriptions, and other topics.

The task force will review the AVMA Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics and determine if additional guidance is needed, and make a recommendation to the AABP Board of Directors on areas of veterinary medical ethics that pertain to bovine practice to develop a bovine-specific Veterinary Medical Ethics guideline.

“The task force has prepared a very complete document for review and approval by the AABP Board of Directors,” says AABP President Dr. Mark Thomas, Lowville, N.Y. “Given the importance of this document and the likelihood that other organizations will use the AABP guidance as a model, we will have an in-depth discussion to finalize and approve this document at our spring board meeting.”

AABP Antimicrobial Stewardship Guidelines

AABP formed the Antimicrobial Stewardship in Cattle Task Force to help AABP and cattle veterinarians implement stewardship programs and provide a path for comment and input to policy makers and organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The charge of this task force is to create a framework of antimicrobial stewardship using the CDC guidelines for human hospitals that would be applicable to cattle veterinarians and producers.  Key elements the CDC has outlined include, but are not limited to, drug expertise, action tracking, reporting and education. The AABP task force anticipates creating guidelines in 2017.

Task force chair Dr. Virginia Fajt, Texas A&M University, adds, "Antimicrobial stewardship depends on a deep knowledge of infectious disease to determine first whether antimicrobial drugs will impact the disease process. Additionally, stewardship requires a continual cycle of diagnosis and treatment followed by tracking disease outcomes to verify the need for antimicrobial drugs."

“This is a huge responsibility for veterinarians, who are going to be perhaps the most visible component of this effort in food animals,” Apley adds. “The veterinarian is responsible for bringing both the larger and the long-term views to our clients.”

Next Generation Practice Analysis Workshops

The AABP Veterinary Practice Sustainability (VPS) has received a USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) grant for over $200,000 to fund attendance for recent graduates to the VPS Next Generation Practice Analysis workshop. Successful applicants to the program will receive a $500 stipend for each of the two workshops, held one year apart. The purpose of the workshops are to enable recent food-animal and mixed-animal veterinary graduates to understand practice finances and successfully manage and grow their business by analyzing cash flow, using value propositions to assess client needs, learn about practice financing and valuation, market new services and use partial budgeting for current and potential services.

50th Annual conference in Omaha

The 50th AABP Annual Conference will be held September 14-16, 2017, in Omaha, Neb. “This year the program committee has focused on poking the bear a little,” Apley explains. The committee has embraced the theme of “What We Know That Isn’t So” in selecting topics and speakers, with the charge that each speaker is to address new developments in their area which challenge the central beliefs we have used as cornerstones of our practices.

“We really hope you will be part of the presentations and discussion,” Apley says. “It could be a little edgy at times, but who knows, maybe you’re the bear!” This theme will be explored in preconference seminars, clinical forums, practice tips, cow-calf, feedlot and dairy sessions, and sessions for students and recent graduates.


Registration for the conference will open May 1, 2017. More information can be found at