The Cattle Production Veterinarian Hall of Fame added two prominent and influential veterinarians to its prestigious list of inductees during the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) annual conference last week. The 2014 dairy inductee is Maarten Drost DVM, ACT, and David Bechtol, DVM, is this year’s beef inductee.

Since its inception in 2011, the Cattle Production Veterinarian Hall of Fame (CPVHOF) has selected two inductees each year, one whose veterinary career focused on dairy and one who focused on beef. This is the fourth class, with previous beef inductees being Dan Upson, DVM, PhD, John Herrick, DVM and Don Williams, DVM, MS. Previous dairy inductees are Harold Amstutz, DVM, Jim Jarrett, DVM and Elmer Woelffer, DVM.

Dr. Maarten Drost

This year’s dairy inductee to the CPVHOF Maarten Drost was born and raised in The Netherlands and immigrated to the USA where he received his DVM degree from Iowa State University in 1962. He worked in private practice in California and served as a captain the US Army Veterinary Corps in Germany. He was a visiting associate professor at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and at State University at Utrecht, The Netherlands, and a visiting professor at Colorado State University’s embryo transfer unit.

Subsequently, Drost served on the faculty of the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and in 1977 became a founding father of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida, where he now retains the title of Professor Emeritus.

Drost is widely renowned for his expertise in bovine reproduction, including groundbreaking work on the mechanism of the initiation of parturition through fetal surgery, pregnancy recognition, fertility management, and advanced reproductive technology such as embryo transfer, in-vitro fertilization and cloning.

He also founded the Drost Project, an online collection of visual guides to reproduction covering water buffalo, horses, sheep, pigs, goats and now dogs in addition to cattle. The website’s Visual Guide to Bovine Reproduction offers an extensive collection of detailed slide shows featuring photos and diagrams covering the female and male reproductive systems, estrus detection, reproductive management, pregnancy, obstetrics, post-partum care, ultrasonography, reproductive technology and more.  The Drost Project is a Global Education resource of interest to specialists, veterinary practitioners, educators and students in the fields of animal reproduction, veterinary medicine or animal sciences.  A Chinese translation of the Visual Guide to Bovine Reproduction currently is in development. Find this outstanding resource at drostproject.org.

In 2003, Drost was named the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine’s Teacher of the Year. Previously, he received UF’s Distinguished Faculty Award, the Egyptian Veterinary Association’s Science Pioneer Prize and UF’s Teaching Improvement Award.

Dr. David Bechtol

This year’s beef inductee is David Bechtol, a native Texan, who graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor Degree of Science in 1964 and received his DVM degree in 1965. Before attending college, Bechtol served in the United States Marine Corp.

As founder and president of Palo Duro Consulting Research and Feedlot and Agri-Research Center, Inc. in Canyon, Texas, Bechtol has been one of the leading feedyard consultants and researchers over the past four decades.  Palo Duro Consulting, according to its mission statement, aims to serve as a link for research, education and problem solving between its research facility and the pharmaceutical, biological, feed additive and food animal industries, and to promote proper use of livestock products and provide the consuming public with a wholesome and economical supply of food.

Bechtol is a charter member of the Academy of Veterinary Consultants (AVC), served as the academy’s first president in 1972 and 1973 and was selected as AVC Consultant of the Year in 1986. He was the first veterinarian to receive the Certified Angus Beef Industry Achievement Award at the Feeding Quality Forum in 2013. Along with numerous industry associations, boards and councils, Dr. Bechtol has also served as adjunct professor in the Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery at Texas A&M University.

Bechtol has published numerous research papers in scientific journals, along with reference publications for veterinarians and cattle feeders including “Beef Production Medicine,” “Necropsy Techniques for Feedlot Personnel,” “Cattle Disease Guide” and “Cattle Treatment Guide.”  Those resources are available on his company’s website at paloduro-consulting.com.

Bechtol also is an accomplished photographer, an interest that began with using photographs as diagnostic and educational tools in veterinary medicine. During a 1985 consulting trip to South Africa, he became interested in wildlife photography, and he now specializes in that art form, focusing on animals and landscapes in the southwestern United States and internationally. His work has been selected for display in several prestigious shows and galleries.

About the Cattle Production Veterinarian Hall of Fame

 There is no one more dedicated to the health and well-being of animals than the cattle production veterinarian. Since the veterinary profession began 250 years ago, veterinarians have been helping farmers and ranchers do what they do best – produce safe, nutritious food for the world. Through early mornings, late nights and harsh weather conditions, veterinarians are a steadfast and essential part of cattle production.

The CPVHOF was established in 2011 to recognize the rich traditions of production veterinary medicine and honor the distinguished individuals who have made lasting contributions to the profession. Inductees are true pioneers whose achievements span their entire careers.

The program is sponsored by the AABP, the Academy of Veterinary Consultants, Bovine Veterinarian magazine, Merck Animal Health and Osborn Barr. The group is proud to honor those who have dedicated their careers to advancing cattle production veterinary medicine.