The United States Animal Health Association recognized a few industry leaders at its recent annual meeting in Kansas City. Awards were presented during its annual President's Dinner on October 19.

The USAHA Medal of Distinction, the organization's top honor, was given to Mr. Bill Hawks, former USDA Under Secretary and current consultant in animal health. Hawks was recognized for his long-time partnership with the organization, stemming back to his days with USDA. A lifetime in agriculture, Hawks was known for his ability for bringing stakeholders together to develop solutions. His mantra of "working together works" is known by many, and he recognized the importance of USAHA, always making a seat at the table for the organization and many others like it.

The USAHA Federal Partnership Award was presented to Dr. Sarah Tomlinson of Colorado. Tomlinson serves as the National Animal Health Laboratory Network Coordinator, for USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services. The award was especially appropriate for Tomlinson because of the way she has approached the NAHLN and particularly the NAHLN Information Technology system as a true state-federal partnership. Dr. Tomlinson has also been instrumental in coordination of the NAHLN laboratories to conduct surveillance, particularly for the swine industry.

The National Assembly of State Animal Health officials honored one of their own, Dr. Thomas Holt, who recently retired as the Florida State Veterinarian. Holt has been a leader and dedicated participant among the state animal health officials. He served Florida for 10 years as state veterinarian, and was previously with USDA.

APHIS Administrator Kevin Shea presented the APHIS Administrator's Award to Dr. Donald Ritter of Delaware. Ritter was honored for his career dedicated to the poultry industry, working as a veterinarian for some of the top poultry producers in the U.S. Most notably his work as chair of the National Poultry Improvement Plan and the overall advancement of poultry disease management.

The United States Animal Health Association (USAHA) is the leading forum for animal health issues in the United States, promoting active participation from industry, academia, and government. USAHA provides a national venue for stakeholders to identify the most effective methods to protect and improve animal health and welfare and public health.

The United States Animal Health Association develops and promotes sound animal health solutions for the public good.