Dave Sjeklocha, DVM, Sublette, Kan., is the 2011 recipient of the Beef Cattle Veterinarian of the Year Award from the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

Honored at the 44th American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) annual conference in St. Louis, Mo., Sjeklocha received the award for his contributions to the beef cattle industry and his involvement in AABP and the Academy of Veterinary Consultants.

Sjeklocha grew up in Missouri and Iowa and developed an interest in veterinary medicine when his father began to incorporate artificial insemination into the management practices of a large cattle herd in northwest Iowa. After gaining experience with heat detection, artificial insemination and bovine obstetrics at home with the guidance of his father, he pursued a career in veterinary medicine. He earned a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences and industry and his DVM at Kansas State University.

Upon graduating from K-State, Sjeklocha moved to Curtis, Neb., where his practice largely  focused on cow-calf herd health. For the past seven years, he served as consulting veterinarian and is now a full-time employee of cattle feeding company, Cattle Empire, serving as the company’s first and only staff veterinarian. As the operations manager of animal health and welfare, he works closely with employees, teaching them about disease detection, proper administration of vaccines and treatments, and the proper handling of cattle. He also maintains a close relationship with Cattle Empire’s feeding clients with the goal of continuously improving the cattle’s health and well-being.

“I enjoy working with the people; agriculture in general offers some of the best, most honest and down to earth people you can ask for. They really care for their livestock, and I appreciate that,” said Sjeklocha, when asked what he finds most enjoyable about practicing veterinary medicine.

In addition to his position at Cattle Empire, Sjeklocha has served on the board of directors and as chairman for the Beef Cattle Health and Well-Being Committee for the AVC. Currently, he holds many responsibilities as the program chairman and president-elect of the AVC, as well as being an ex-officio member of the animal welfare committee for AABP.