One section in the exhibit focuses on food-animal medicine.
One section in the exhibit focuses on food-animal medicine.

Every day, bovine veterinarians dedicate themselves to ensuring the health and welfare of dairy and beef herds. But few people understand how these veterinarians help animals thrive or protect animal health to help protect human health and the environment.

The various tasks performed by food animal veterinarians to keep dairy cattle healthy are highlighted in a mobile exhibition from the Smithsonian, “Animal Connections: Our Journey Together,” which explores the complex connections between humans and animals.

The exhibit, created to mark the 150th anniversary of the American Veterinary Medical Association, is currently touring the country and welcoming the public to explore the fascinating world of veterinary medicine. As a part of that tour, the exhibit will be at the upcoming American Association of Bovine Practitioners annual meeting in Albuquerque. Conference attendees can visit the exhibit from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19, at the Albuquerque Convention Center, 401 2nd St. NW.

The free exhibit will be parked in the conference hall near the Quiz Bowl.

Smithsonian mobile exhibition explores human–animal bond“The exhibition is an introduction to the world of veterinary medicine and explores the shared responsibility for animals’ health and well-being that we all have,” said Christine Jenkins, Chief Veterinary Medical Officer for Zoetis-U.S., a company that discovers, develops and manufactures veterinary vaccines and medicines. “Part of what sparked our enthusiasm for this exhibit is the commitment producers have to their herds and to ensuring safe and affordable protein and dairy products.”

Created in 2013 by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) to mark the 150th anniversary of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the exhibit is made possible through the continued generous support of the founding sponsor, Zoetis, Inc. and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation.

The exhibit uses a combination of interactive learning stations, films and touch screen videos, and three-dimensional settings to explore topics about animals on the farm, in the home, in the wild, at the zoo and in the veterinary clinic.

Visitors are offered a variety of ways to learn through informative displays, dynamic videos and interactive experiences. A display in the farm section highlights the mobile clinics that large-animal veterinarians stock with a variety of tools—from dental speculums to cow magnets—to ensure they are prepared for any procedure. A virtual clinic at the center of the exhibition provides visitors the opportunity to be the veterinarian. Through touch screens, they can examine and diagnose what ails their virtual patients—a dog, a piglet and a cheetah.

Visitors to “Animal Connections” can continue the learning experience online at animalconnections.com.

About Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES)

SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for 60 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play.

About American Veterinary Medical Association

The AVMA, established in 1863, is a not-for-profit association representing more than 85,000 veterinarians working in private and corporate practice, government, industry, academia and uniformed services. The mission of the association is to improve animal and human health and advance the veterinary medical profession.

About American Veterinary Medical Foundation

The AVMF is the charitable arm of the AVMA. For 50 years, AVMF. For 50 years, AVMF has been dedicated to embracing and advancing the well-being and medical care of animals. Charitable contributions and support to the Foundation help veterinarians help animals The AVMF, a two-time, four-star rated nonprofit by Charity Navigator, has awarded more than $50 million in grants since it began in 1963.