Growing up on a 100 -cow beef operation near Macon, Miss., helped inspire Heath King to pursue his DVM degree at Mississippi State. Today, as a faculty member at Mississippi State, King works to inspire future veterinarians while also helping local livestock owners solve health and reproductive problems in their animals.

After finishing veterinary school, King also completed a residency and became board-certified in theriogenology, and continues to focus his research and teaching on reproduction in cattle, horses and other species. As a reproductive specialist, he enjoys the opportunity to help producers capitalize on the benefits of good reproductive health and the application of technologies.

King has a passion for teaching, and currently teaches a general reproduction class and more advanced classes involving hands-on development of clinical and surgical skills.

The university’s teaching hospital includes an ambulatory unit that provides emergency and general veterinary services to farmers around the area. “We don’t go anywhere without at least one student,” he said, adding that veterinary students complete rotations in the hospital and spend part of their fourth year with the ambulatory unit.

King said he works to find a balance between executing day-to-day tasks and keeping up with the latest in reproductive technology, as applications such as estrus synchronization, in-vitro fertilization and embryo transfer continue to evolve. He works with clients to determine the most cost-effective methods for improving reproduction and genetics within their operations.

King regularly gives presentations to producer groups on topics such as bull development and management, heifer development and reproductive diseases. He is a contributor to the authoritative book, Bovine Reproduction.

“He is a great veterinary clinician and educator — the perfect role model for our students,”’ said Mississippi State University professor Richard Hopper, who King considers a mentor. “Cattlemen that he works with through our clinical service appreciate both his skill and his common sense approach. He has credibility with our clients due to both his personal experience as a cattleman and his ability as a veterinarian.”

What is the 40 under 40 award?

Farm Journal Media’s 40 Under 40 Awards recognize youngleaders in our industry who will be instrumental in meeting the2050 challenge. We are once again seeking the most innovativepeople in agriculture under the age of 40 – from animal and cropproduction, biotechnology and University researchers, to food andnutrition technology, agricultural equipment, agronomy and beyond.

Click here to learn more about nominating for the 2016 class.