John Herrick, DVM (left), and Jim Jarrett, DVM
John Herrick, DVM (left), and Jim Jarrett, DVM

John Herrick, DVM, and Jim Jarrett, DVM, were posthumously inducted into the Cattle Production Veterinarian Hall of Fame (CPVHoF) at the 45th Annual American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) conference last week in Montreal, Canada.

In its second year, the CPVHoF celebrates the rich traditions of American cattle production veterinary medicine by honoring the extraordinary men and women who have made lasting contributions to their profession. Inductees are true pioneers whose achievements span their entire careers. They are selected by their peers, including members of AABP and the Academy of Veterinary Consultants (AVC), who had the opportunity to vote for one beef and one dairy veterinarian to be honored.

Last year’s inaugural inductees were Dan Upson, DVM, PhD and Harold Amstutz, DVM.

Jarrett made a lasting impression
Jarrett, of Rome, Ga., was a world-renowned dairy expert who focused on milk quality, dairy nutrition and reproductive management. He also co-founded the AABP Quality Milk Pre-conference Seminar. Jarrett passed away in 2005 at the age of 69.

CPVHoF honors Drs. Herrick and JarrettGood friend and former AABP President Bob Smith, DVM, Stillwater, Okla., presented the award to Jarrett’s son, Robert Jarrett, MD, and daughter Joy Jarrett. “Jim was an expert in just about everything he set his mind to do, but his specialties were milk quality, dairy nutrition and reproductive management,” Smith said at the conference’s closing night gala and induction ceremony sponsored by Merck.

“Jim understood diseases well, but also knew that a holistic approach to disease control and production was imperative,” Smith added. “That understanding was one of the cornerstones of his success, and he had the supporting business and people skills to deliver the whole package.”

Among other veterinary organizations, Jarrett’s involvement with AABP was legendary, first from being a director, to president in 1978, co-founding the AABP Milk Quality Pre-Convention Seminar, and serving as the AABP executive vice president from 1993 to his medical retirement in early 2005. He received the AABP Bovine Practitioner of the Year, the Amstutz-Williams Award, and the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association Veterinarian of the Year among others.

Jarrett took great pride in veterinary medicine, but family was the most important thing in his life. He was married to his wife Margaret for more than 45 years, and had two children, Joy and Robert.

“In my mind, Jim followed his own advice,” Smith said. “Prioritize God, family, country and veterinary medicine. He tried to separate different from wrong, and he looked for the good in others.”

Herrick – the father of preconditioning
The 2012 beef inductee, John Herrick, DVM, of Paradise Valley, Ariz., is well-known in the beef industry as the “father of preconditioning.” He pioneered the concept of preconditioning programs for weaned calves and is known for his work on brucellosis and mastitis control.

A 1946 Iowa State University veterinary graduate, 35 years Herrick served as a professor of Veterinary Clinical Sciences and Extension at the College of Veterinary Medicine at ISU.

Herrick was a past president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association. He also served on the AVMA Continuing Education Advisory Committee, and practiced veterinary medicine until his death in 2007 at age 87. Herrick was also a recipient of the AABP Practitioner of the Year award, and was instrumental in helping to start the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, National Mastitis Council and The Society for Theriogenology.

CPVHoF honors Drs. Herrick and JarrettW. Mark Hilton, DVM, Dipl. ABVP, Purdue University, presented the award to Herrick’s daughter Joyce Rodenborn and son Jim Herrick.

Hilton recounted that as a young veterinarian practicing in DeWitt, Iowa, he was encouraged by his boss to call Herrick on several occasions and ask his advice on different matters. “I asked my question and he answered me like a colleague,” Hilton said. “That was a big deal for me as a newly minted DVM.”

Though he worked in many areas, Herrick is best known as “The Father of Preconditioning” and he was passionate about that program. “After much work and great resistance, Dr. Herrick’s preconditioning program became a success,” noted Hilton. “The first year, 350,000 calves were preconditioned in Iowa. A few years later 800,000 were preconditioned – over half the calves in the state.”

Herrick has 14 children, 26 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. His daughter, Joyce Rodenborn, and son, Jim Herrick, accepted the award on Herrick’s behalf.

Five organizations sponsor the Hall of Fame including AABP, AVC, Bovine Veterinarian, Merck Animal Health and Osborn Barr, an agricultural marketing and communications company.

Visit the AABP section at to see additional information on the 2012 awards including scholarship recipients, slideshows and more. Also, visit for more conference information.

The 2013 AABP conference will be held Sept. 19-21, in Milwaukee.