During the spring of 2013, we set out to identify 20 veterinarians who have had extraordinary influence on the beef or dairy industries. We discovered early on that this would not be a simple task, as people across the industry have tremendous respect and admiration for the veterinarians with whom they work.
To develop our list, we ran a call for nominations multiple times in Bovine Veterinarian, Dairy Herd Management, Drovers/ CattleNetwork and their associated websites and e-newsletters. We asked veterinarians, producers, and industry stakeholders to send us their nominations. The nomination process served as an initial vote, with each individual nomination for a veterinarian counting as a single vote. That process generated a great list of names, many with multiple votes, and we needed a tie-breaker vote to finalize the list of 20. For that, we recruited three individuals with broad experience and knowledge of the veterinary community. That group included: Greg Goodell, DVM, The Dairy Authority, Greeley, Colo.; Bill Swafford, DVM, executive secretary, Academy of Veterinary Consultants (AVC); and Geni Wren, communications director, American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) and former editor of Bovine Veterinarian.
Their votes provided enough separation to identify our final list of 20. We could easily have made the list longer, as virtually all the nominees clearly have had profound influence on their clients, colleagues and industry. However, the final list reads like a “who’s who” in bovine veterinary medicine, with a diverse sample of dairy and beef veterinarians, private practitioners, consultants and academicians. So, here they are.
Mike Apley, DVM, PhD, ACVCP, Kansas State University
In addition to his success as a researcher, educator and practitioner, Dr. Apley has become a highly visible and passionate advocate for judicious use of antimicrobial drugs in animal agriculture. He began his veterinary medicine career with a general practice in Kansas, followed by a feedlot consulting and contract research practice in Colorado. He later joined the faculty at Iowa State University and worked there until 2005, when he moved toKansas State University. At K-State, he teaches beef production medicine, large-animal medicine and pharmacology courses.
David Bechtol, DVM, Palo Duro Consulting, and Agri ResearchCenter, Inc., Canyon, Texas
Dr. Bechtol has operated his consulting business and feedyard research facility in the Texas Panhandle for more than 20 years. His “cattle accounting system” was one of the original recordkeeping systems for animal health in the early ’70s. He also has maintained an active role as a consultant for some of the largest feedyards in the country and has mentored countless young people across the beef industry. He is a charter member and first president of the AVC and past president of AABP. He was named AVC Consultant of the Year in 1986.